AuthorTopic: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts  (Read 10172 times)

Offline Ryumaru

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Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

on: January 19, 2015, 03:00:51 am
Hey all, I was just recently in a situation where I was asked to do an art test ( after showing my portfolio of course)

I'm not particularly fond of the idea; after all, time is money; but what do you guys think?

For those working in the industry as freelancers, do you often get asked to do art tests? How long do you spend on them if you do? Do you get compensated after the fact if you happen to get the job?

Offline yaomon17

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 04:06:47 am
I've been asked to do tests only twice and I was lucky that the client was reasonable to give compensation both times. I do spend a good amount of time on the pieces partly because I have difficulty sending out something that I feel like I didn't put my full effort into and partly because I do want the job so I figure the better the test, the better the chances of me getting the job.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 04:19:06 am
depends.

Bigger commpanies might want to see how good you can do a certain task.
Some indies trying to gather art by "testrounds"
it's a decision you have to decide on a case-by-case basis. It strongly depends on the job and the people involved.

Usually you get compensated for an arttest if you get hired, if you don't get hired you don't get anything because you failed "test".
But you can always ask the guy asking for the test if there will be compensation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
For a high-class job it might be worth to put some hours into it.

However, if a company came to you and would ask you to do an arttest, I'd wonder why, after all they are in need an artist. If you apply for a job there is a valid chance to get asked, because they want to see if you are competent.

If the gig isn't that great and you could make better time by just working the time for someone else, it might be indeed better to work for someone else, because the risk might be to high.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 04:20:41 am by Cyangmou »
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Offline Gil

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 02:00:24 am
I will do any and all art tests for free and have in the past even made art prior to a job interview to prove I'm invested in the company, GIVEN that it's a steady contract that will provide me with a lasting contract.

I will never do an art test for a freelance job unless I'm desperate. My portfolio should speak for itself and if they want another artist, they're free to. That being said, as a freelancer, especially pixel art these days, you're mostly desperate ;)

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 03:17:38 am
Thanks for sharing guys; basically all the angles I had thought about it.I got burned for 3 hours of work- but it was a nice learning experience. We'll just say it built character and wisdom ;D

Offline huZba

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 11:44:21 am
Naturally if you get hired for what you have in your portfolio, you'll get to draw what you're comfortable with.

Someone offered to do an art test once. I gave a pretty broad assignment to draw something in theme, but pick whatever they think is best for a showcase. I felt it wasn't close enough in style, but offered to pay for spent time on some specific items so I could use those as a base or reference if I decided to put them in a game. Thing is they never replied to my offer and now I feel I can't use those items in a game even if I did them myself from scratch... go figure  :P

But yeah, one can never waste time on art I feel. It always gives something back regardless.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 05:10:12 pm
I'm not really against them, as long as they're respectful of your time.  Ie. They're already fairly sure they want to hire you, not tasking something that will take many hours and get back to you promptly. 

I've been given an art test once that was fairly excessive, and when completed they asked for revisions(!).  Then when I did them, scored an interview, interviewed (went v. well I thought)... They never got back to me for a year.  When they eventually got back to me got me to do a new art test, which I regrettably did, then they didn't reply to me a further 6 months till finally offering me the job.  After this process I declined their offer.  It was a pay rise, too, but everything pointed to working with them being a nightmare.  (I'm angry again after recanting that haha). 

Wouldn't bother with them for freelance work, unless it's a particularly big project and/or paid. 

Offline Gil

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 05:46:33 pm
Just a note, but some employers will allow you to use these art tests for portfolio use, in which case it can be useful to do them as the time isn't wasted if you don't get the job.

Offline Indigo

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 06:31:34 pm
I see many artists get really upset over the idea of art tests, and to be honest I've always been annoyed by that reaction.  If it's a job you want, you want to show to them you can accomplish what they need.  A lot of times it's not even a test of your abilities so much as a test of your work dynamics/ethics.

I've been on both sides of this coin.  I've completed art tests and I've given them.  I personally try to compensate for the ones I give.  But every job I've had so far has required an art test and I've always treated them as a challenge to not only complete the test, but to "one-up" them.  It's an excellent tool to help you stand out above any other candidates they're considering.

One example: at A Bit Lucky they gave me an art test for making 8 directional isometric trains.  What I turned in was an entire 3D-to-Pixelart pipeline that accomplished 16 directional trains in half the time.  I was immediately hired.

Offline Helm

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Re: Unpaid art tests: Your thoughts

Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 08:47:23 pm
I've done art tests, I see nothing wrong with them as long as they're not asking for extensive work, just to see if you can pull off a certain thing a little ouside your portfolio or something, sure. I've never been ripped off via art test.