Hey all. I’m usually a lurker, both here and on the slack channel, so apologies in advance if this post feels way off topic…
I started out as an environment artist a few years ago and sort of organically formed into a Tech artist in the last year; I found myself doing less and less art while learning on the job as needed how to make shaders, troubleshoot art related bugs in apps, optimize for performance on lower end platforms, write c# code for tools and gameplay, list goes on.
I love doing all of it. Most of all it seems, I love learning new stuff…for example, I’ve been really into teaching myself HLSL (so far I’ve really only used graph editors), python in DCCs, and specific advanced math topics.
Though I’m in a stable job at the moment, I feel like I need to move on at some point to keep growing, largely because I don’t have any tech art leadership or comrades where I’m at.
So here’s my quandary: I want to be around other people I can learn more from, preferably somewhere I could be making games I’m passionate about, but I don’t think I currently have the portfolio to get a job anywhere. I’m just scratching the surface in my education in a lot of ways. My plan is to soon take some vacation days and really hone in on something that I can add to my portfolio. It’s not gonna happen overnight, but I hope I can start building something that could get me hired without relying on lucky circumstance and recommendations (which is how I feel I got both jobs in my career so far).
Here’s my current portfolio:
I’ve asked for feedback before, and I generally receive positive comments or very minor notes. But I have no illusions that it’s not weak, because it’s never—on it’s own—got me even so much as an interview. I guess what I’m asking for is some brutal honesty here; if you guys saw this portfolio come in, what is missing from it or what about it might make you consider another candidate? Are there specific foundational kinds of work that you look out for in a tech artist? What I’m hoping I get out of this is some clear guidance for my magpie brain, to focus on specific things instead of wanting to learn every topic I come across.
Much needed TLDR; working as Tech Artist, but never been hired as a Tech Artist. Would love advice.