August 20th, 2012
When I finished college in 1993, I had no plans to be a graphic designer. In fact, I was not sure what exactly I wanted to be. I was running a small video store in a college town and, though I was always broke, I was getting by. Life seemed pretty simple and fun, but I knew I had to pick a career at some point. Fortunately, my career picked me.
My start as a graphic designer came completely by accident. I had been hired by the local newspaper as a reporter just a few months after receiving a degree in Journalism. I was very excited to start my first professional job, but a bit nervous. I actually submitted some of my senior essays as work samples, so needless to say, I was very green.
I walked into the office on my first day with no idea what to expect. I sat down at my desk and starting getting things organized when I heard some commotion from the editor’s office. Apparently, the graphic designer was very unhappy with the placement of one of his graphics in the previous day’s edition. He was yelling at the editor and threatening to quit. The editor told him, “Go ahead and quit, then.” The designer, in a fit of rage, did just that, walking out right then and there.
After this incident, I was shaken to say the least. My editor came up to me and asked, “Do you have any graphic design experience?” I told him I had a little bit, which was true. He told me that they needed a new graphic designer and asked if I would like the job. I knew that that job paid a bit more and I said yes. After a rough first few days, I settled into my duties and the rest is history. I am currently a successful freelance designer thanks to good timing.
August 20th, 2012
Working with professional or amateur game development studios creates a vast source of knowledge, tricks, and secrets of the trade. Among all the various fields and niches one can really dive into and gain some grounding, graphic design is perhaps the most popular, yet difficult candidates. Whether it’s 3D renderings for high-poly characters or simple 2D artwork for the a new handheld concept; the graphic arts span a vast majority of the gaming trade, as well as web design, film studios, and independent development. There is a wealth of knowledge available on the subject, covering a huge library of programs, development environments, and rendering agents, but the actual accounts of the designers and their personal tribulations are often left untold. Nearly everyone that jumps into the field without first obtaining a professional degree, will immediately begin searching for all the tutorials and walkthroughs available with their program of choice. The learning curve is pretty large for all the selectable mediums. Open source projects like Blender rival the high-quality studio options, such as Autodesk while both offer little in the way of insight or actual build logs. Having a source of information from the fingers of the artists is something irreplaceable and sometimes trivial. There may be pages of rambling or opinionated solutions, but it is amongst the written mistakes and lessons learned that you’ll find the real gems. It may never be as detailed as a tutorial or step-by-step introduction into the specifics of programming, but once you’ve reached the intermediate level, tutorials seldom offer the specific advice you’re requiring. When in this middle ground, most graphic designers have opted to stick with this field and are hunting some more personal advice regarding the actual career opportunities, what to avoid, and general lessons surrounding such a crowded medium. Finding these rare sources of information will give any designer the upper hand and help lower poly count without losing a fingernail.