Snarking on game art portfolios 

I've not seen a clearer demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger effect than in game art portfolio threads.

Threads titled some variant of "Newbie looking for experience": gorgeous work, portfolio includes both beauty shots and break-downs/individual assets.

Threads with titles like "Experienced artist looking to make your game awesome": Only beauty shots and concept art, mostly looking bland, if you're lucky. "Reviews" and links to 50 external sites if you're not.

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Obligatory disclaimer: obviously I'm exaggerating here xP

But, I definitely feel like the mediocre and outright bad portfolios tend to have the most confident titles and intros. It always makes me happy to see a portfolio with good art also have text to match, so I guess really what I want is good artists to be more confident in themselves :D

If an employer's going to pass on you, let it be because your art isn't what they need, not because your thread title made them not click at all.

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@eishiya I think I have the complete opposite approach, in that I get baffled when employers and my lead say I'm higher rank than I thought I was. It seems it's something common in the industry that once you know how gosh darn competitive and skilled the actual professionals are, who have stable jobs, you feel everything you've done pale in comparison. There are people out there with 20, 40 years in the industry, they have the right to say 'experienced'. I'll always be junior until I'm senile 😂

@eishiya I'm curious at what point should professionals say they are 'experienced'? The only thing I count on atm are the years. I feel that, even if your portfolio is great, a lot of companies still consider your years experience.

@thiriumheart "Experience" isn't a monolithic thing, so my answer varies with the context.

The experience a small indie is looking for is mainly that your deliverables are in an actually usable format and won't lag the game. In the absence of shipped games, a portfolio can show these things.

A larger developer will also want to see experience working in similar environments and with similar tools, so that you can get to work smoothly. A portfolio doesn't show this kind of experience.

@thiriumheart To actually answer your question, which I realised I haven't: I guess it just comes down to "have you shipped at least 1-2 projects of the scale you're seeking work in, in the job you're seeking to do?"

So, having shipped couple of small 2D games as an artist would mean you're experienced if you're trying to get hired for more of those, but not if you're trying to get hired as a programmer, or trying to get hired for 3D, or trying to get work with a larger developer.

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