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Is Your Online Art Portfolio Lacking? Get Advice, Inspiration from 7 Professionals

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This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Illustration of Winged Boy with Skateboard

Is your online art portfolio setting you up for success? Or dragging you down?

Building an online art portfolio is a critical part of applying for video game artist jobs. But it isn’t just about showing your awesome work to the art director before an interview. It’s also important to highlight your individual passion and personality as an artist.

We’ve assembled a collection of 7 game artist portfolio examples from working, industry professionals. Each artist offers clear and actionable advice on how to make your online art portfolio really shine.

Notice how different each portfolio site is from every other, yet they all showcase the art while allowing a personal flair. You might also note that some of the artists’ advice conflicts with one another! Sometimes there aren’t any right or wrong answers, it just depends on your own personality and what works for you as an artist. So don’t be afraid to let your unique personality show through.

Let’s take a look at the online portfolios and careers of these 7 professional game industry artists. Click each portfolio link to open in a new browser window, and then learn how to build your own online art portfolio.

LEARN: How to build your custom online art portfolio

Mathias Takacs – Animation Lead Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://www.standalone3d.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • I’ve set up my site with tabs to demonstrate multiple skill sets because being diverse in the gaming industry is very valuable. As I review animators’ portfolios, I often look for animators that can wear multiple hats.
  • Always keep your demo reels and portfolio site up to date.
  • Most important: Always push yourself, and get critique and feedback from the most critical person you know.
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Caleb Parrish – Environment Artist Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://www.artofcalebparrish.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • Don’t distract from the work. Make your presentation about the images, not the interface.
  • The fewer clicks it takes before your gallery is presented, the better.
  • Make sure your images are relevant to the job you are applying for and don’t be afraid to shuffle them to fit.
  • Only show professional-level work if you expect to be paid to do a professional job. One bad-looking image will detract from the whole and sometimes that’s all it takes to remove you from contention.
  • If you apply for a job and get rejected, ask for feedback and take it seriously.
  • Make it easy to find you. Your contact info should be easily accessible from any point on your webpage.

Dominic Sodano – Concept Artist Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://sodano.daportfolio.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • Try to show as many styles and ideas as you can.  And constantly update it!

Brent Watanabe – Creative Developer & New Media Artist Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://bwatanabe.com, http://bwatanabe.com/work
Portfolio Advice:

  • Brent has separated his portfolio into two sections, one for his commercial projects and one for his indie art projects.

Lisa Liao – Environment Artist Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://lisaliao.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • Keep it simple! 🙂

Katie Orcutt – Illustrator & Animator Portfolio

Art Portfolio Site: http://www.katieorcutt.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • Navigation should be clear and easy.
  • Looking professional doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time and effort creating a website when you could be making content instead. Find a way of uploading your work that meets your needs and fits into your schedule (for me, it’s Blogspot).
  • Never stop creating. Revamp your site design every so often. Try to post something new as often as you can.
  • Whatever you have to do to feel most creative and inspired – GO DO IT! Do what you love, and do it often!
READ  10 Proven Ways to Break Into the Video Game Industry

Mark Ferrari, Writer – 2D Artist & Illustrator Portfolio

Art Portfolio Sitehttp://www.markferrari.com
Portfolio Advice:

  • Don’t include anything but your VERY BEST work. Better 10 images that rock than a ‘wide variety’ of samples that make your work quality look ‘variable.’
  • Never ‘explain’ or apologize for the work in your portfolio. Let the images speak for themselves. If something more needs saying, let your interviewer tell you that, and respond as needed. If they express appreciation for an image, just smile and say “Thank you,” and add NOTHING MORE.

Advice from Other Artists

To learn more from professional artists, consider taking classes or even getting a degree. It’s never too soon to start collecting info. Type your zip code below to explore top art schools near you.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Top image: Mark Ferrari / www.markferrari.com

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2 comments on “Is Your Online Art Portfolio Lacking? Get Advice, Inspiration from 7 Professionals
  1. Hi, My name is Theon Guillory and I’m searching for answers. I like your work, congrats on your success.

    I need help with some guidance or direction. I want to work from home as a game artist and don’t know where to start. I live in Louisiana with a family so moving isn’t a good option for me…I have a 20yr career as a draftsman/cad operator in the oil field and been laid off 3 time within those 3 years. Now I’m working at Wal-mart Distribution Center. This is not where I belong.
    I got a drafting diploma after high school because I loved art and drawing. I couldn’t afford college. I been drawing as long as I can remember. Now at the age of 42 I have become a pretty good artist. I love games of all kind, mostly video games. I now paint local or traditional subjects because that’s what sell here. But when I was younger fantasy art and being creative from watching action figure cartoons and comic books was my favorite.

    With that being said, I would like to make a transition from draftsman to game artist. I have the traditional art/fine art skill down already, but what about Photoshop, illustrator, etc.? What about animation tools and programs? Where do I start? Should I try painting cards, painting background scenes or creating caricatures and how I get my first job being that I don’t have a resume to reflect this kind of work?

    Could you please give me some helpful tips and advice?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Theon, thanks for reaching out. Having a strong fine-art foundation is an excellent starting point. For making game art, the next step would be to focus in on which job area you might be a fit for (3D modeling, animation, concept, 2D, etc.) based on your interests and talents. You can read more about those job roles in my game careers page, it links to interviews with artists in different jobs. I also have a podcast episode about changing jobs to game development that I think will be helpful. I wish you luck with your transition!

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