So immediately upon graduating I realized there was a recession going on, or something. Well, I had a shiny new degree in fine arts, specifically computer animation, and I really wanted a career in game design.
I risked some of my remaining funds (which technically I didn’t have since I was in tens of thousands of dollars in debt thanks to said degree) by flying across the country for a gaming career conference in order to make professional contacts.
I visited the booth of a smaller company that had developed an RTS title that I had really liked, and the representative there, who was dressed in shorts and sandals, spent a long time looking at my portfolio.
“You belong here.” said the guy, and then he added, “We might have some new positions in a few months, be sure to apply.”
Wow. I felt great.
Then I went to one of the largest (in the top three, and not Blizzard, they were very nice) game designer/publishing companies, and showed my portfolio to the representative, who was in formal business attire. She looked at my portfolio for five minutes in silence (which is a really long time when you’re standing to the side fidgeting). She meticulously scanned over all the sketches of weapons, monsters, landscapes, and then the 3-D models. Then she looked at my last page, which was my resume.
Upon seeing my resume, she slapped my portfolio shut and curtly said, “You should have your resume as your first page.” and then walked away.
What the hell, lady?
I graduated cum laude, from a prestigious art institute, taking classes both in traditional art as well as video editing, programming and computer animation. So why had I been rejected?
I had no work experience.
The thing is, she had spent so much time looking at my portfolio that my work had to have been good enough to keep her attention. But apparently with no work experience my apparent talent was irrelevant and I had wasted her time.
A few months later I looked at the company that said I belonged, and they had been bought out and consumed by one of the larger publishing companies (again, not Blizzard).
Now I do freelance computer animation for nature centers. I spend my time animating forest fires, prehistoric sharks, and avalanches, and I go to work every day in shorts and sandals.