Hi folks! I’ve been posting a lot on Twitter lately, especially resume, portfolio, and artist tips. I’ve been queueing up a bunch of individual tips and pushing them out in one big two-second barrage of advice, and people have been asking for a more permanent location for them. Well, here you go! I’ll post these here anytime I do that from now on. Here are my tips on understanding and completing art tests:
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #1: NEVER be afraid to ask questions. It’s expected! However, a) DON’T ask just to seem clever, and b) DO try to ask them all at once.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #2: Follow directions precisely. You’d be astonished how often this DOESN’T happen, and it’s completely avoidable.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #3: We give directions, but also read between the lines at what isn’t said to add extra polish.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #4: Be tidy. It’s as technical as it is artistic. Tidy outliner, clean object and filenaming, organized layer groups in the PSD, etc.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #5: Be on time. If you’re going to be late, acknowledge it the *INSTANT* you know you will be late, and politely propose a new date.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #6: Log your time and be honest about it.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #7: Overdeliver, within reason. “Is there a way to jazz this up a little within my creative, time, and tech constraints?”
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #8: Unless they say otherwise, assume the art assets are meant for a realtime game. Construct the assets accordingly.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #9: When submitting, always send a separate confirmation email. FTP uploads don’t notify, and large email attachments sometimes bounce.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #10: Think hard about how you distribute detail with polygons and texture. This says a lot about how you think.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #11: Make sure the zipped art test contains ONLY the files needed, not dozens of extra directories or files (.mayaswatches, I’m looking at you).
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #12: If you’re asked to provide diffuse, normal, and spec maps… don’t randomly just not use them and not explain why.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #13: Don’t include files with random names like “SomethingWhatever.tga” or “DammitPleaseWork.jpg” or “OwlsWithDiarrhea.ma”
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #14: DON’T PUT ART TESTS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO! a) It means you failed the test, and b) I’ve already seen 50 other people do that one, and probably better.
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #15: Ask your friends to look over your work. Be willing to accept criticism. Don’t make people wonder “did he even look at the reference?”
ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #16: Don’t let your own self-doubt keep you from finishing or submitting. It’s their job to evaluate you, not yours. Stay strong.