AuthorTopic: Pixel art as a job?  (Read 2735 times)

Offline Invincible

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Pixel art as a job?

on: February 08, 2018, 11:20:26 pm
Hi guys,

I'm 17, about to go off into the wonderful experience called life, to pay those wonderful things called bills and taxes.

I've been doing pixel art for quite awhile now, but never really dedicated to it, just did a few commissions here and there. I want to work in the creative industries in the future so I'm wondering: is it worth it to pursue pixel art as a primary source of income?

I really enjoy pixeling, but I'm not sure there is enough money flowing out there to support myself, even if I go into raster art.

Have any of you out there made it? How realistic is it to make a significant amount of income? As of now my research has mostly pointed me in the direction of keeping it a hobby.

Thanks!

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 02:28:07 am
I think you already know the answer. If you find a way to make it work, it can work. But very few actually manage that. Even some of the best are having a tough time. If someone asks such a question, the only official answer I can give in good conscience, is "No, don't bet your life on it." and "Get a real job, kid, something with hammers and nails." So if you decide to do it anyway, you sure can't depend on anyone's encouragement, unless it comes from a concrete employer or a sufficient audience on Patreon.

In more established jobs there is a career path within a company. That means internships to train people on the job. You don't have to be already expert level before you have a chance for a gig. A promising talent is enough. I don't see that for anything pixel art. You better be already amazing before you can expect freelance commissions worth a damn. That's the toughest part. Though there is a sprawling indie scene, they have to calculate differently, on tight budgets, if you even can call it that, or where every presentation makes or breaks it.

That's my observation anyway. Can't say anything nicer than that without the feeling of sending you to your doom with a warm smile for a false moment of comfort.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 02:32:24 am by RAV »

Offline Invincible

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 02:57:16 am
Thanks RAV, for the reply. No offense taken, although the outlook is slightly worse than I expected. I want to break into the industry while I'm young and can build a portfolio working for cheap/free, but if even the best are having a tough time, there doesn't seem like much of an industry to break into.  :(

Offline eishiya

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 05:08:48 am
Unfortunately, RAV's observations match my own. Admittedly, I'm an outsider who has done only fairly minimal paid pixel work, as it's not my "main" thing. Take my post with a grain of salt.

As far as I'm aware, there aren't any major companies consistently creating pixel art games, so there aren't stable jobs in it. It's nearly all freelance (including for larger companies) and indie dev companies, both of which mean inconsistent work, and sometimes inconsistent pay even when there is work (e.g. many indies are unable to pay their artists ahead of release and resort to revenue sharing). Major, big-budget pixel art projects do happen, but you'll have a lot of competition for those positions.

If your goal is a stable job for a company, you'd have more luck marketing yourself with a more diverse skill set than just pixel art. Being able to do concept art, textures, UI design, etc will make you much more desirable for a company, especially since most companies making pixel art games aren't big enough to hire multiple specialists and instead want one or two generalists. The downside is a lot of your work will involve not doing pixel art - but perhaps you'll enjoy those things too! Fortunately, it doesn't hurt to try learning more skills, because they will likely improve your pixel art as well.

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 05:44:09 am
Art is a luxury industry, which also means there is a lot of stiff competition for people trying to make it a job. Are you obsessively driven? Then it might just work out for you. Are you more casual? Try to cobble together a more diverse set of skills.

Art is frankly a terrifying MARSH of an industry at the professional level, and even the most prolific working artists I know frequently struggle to make rent unless they've lucked into the kind of fanbases willing to pay 1k+ for their work. And that's still more a result of good marketing and luck than actual artistic ability.

You'll get a lot more mileage out of being a jack of all trades than a master of one, contrary to certain bastardized nuggets of wisdom.

Take some time to learn the ins and outs of writing, play with animation, try out programming. Find what you can and can't do, and be willing to push through the sheer slog it can become when that fickle bitch motivation putters out on you. Do all that and you'll be in a better place to start your OWN projects.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline Invincible

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 05:32:11 pm
Got it. I'm going for it.

I think that if I can develop these skills now - pixel art, concept, textures, animation, etc. - I will be in a good position to make money. Not enough to support myself, but at least enough to be significant.

I do have reasonable programming skills, so maybe that will help.

In any case, thanks guys! Time to start studying.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Pixel art as a job?

Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 10:10:59 pm
Good luck! Work hard and enjoy the ride :] Continue to show your work here and and we'll help you grow as much as we can!