3D Art Jobs: Everything You Need to Know

3D Art Jobs: Everything You Need to Know

Finding your first job in CG art after getting out of art school can be tough, especially when you’re not entirely sure what kind of work you want to do. With so many different industries like gaming, AI, and more, knowing where and how to begin can be an intimidating task. That’s why we put together the ultimate guide of everything you need to know about 3D Art jobs.

What Jobs Can a 3D Artist Do?

The benefit of many jobs in 3D design is that they often allow even the untrained to grow their career over time. Some of the most common roles for 3D artists are:

  1. Video game designer- Some of the most sought out jobs in CG art are in gaming. Video game designers can model just about anything, including characters, scenery, additional assets, and much more, making this career path incredibly adaptable.
  2. 3D Animator- Careers in animation can range from specializing in film and TV shows, to smaller bespoke jobs for multiple clients. In general, an animator will create people, backgrounds, objects, and more.
  3. Graphic designer- Although graphic design is associated with 2D illustration, starting with a 3D model as a base for a 2D image can really bring the final product to life. That’s why it’s a huge pro if you apply to a graphic design position with experience in both 2D and 3D art. 
  4. 3D Printing technician- Though this may seem like a less obvious choice, turning digital models into physical prototypes is becoming an important part of the industry. A role as a technician can help get your foot in the door by developing hands-on technical skills while requiring little previous experience.
  5. Instructor- If you enjoy sharing your wealth of knowledge with others, a job in teaching can be another fruitful avenue to venture down. This could be in the form of tutorials posted on platforms for sale, through art schools, or even on social media like YouTube. 

How Much Do 3D Artists Earn?

While there’s room for growth in each field, salaries can range from $30,000-75,000 per year. Here are a few national average salaries in 2021 for the roles listed above:

  1. Video game designer- $31,408 per year
  2. 3D Animator- $47,237 per year
  3. Graphic designer- $36,608 per year
  4. 3D Printing technician- $35,651 per year
  5. Instructor- $58,000 per year

What Should be Included in a 3D Artists Portfolio?

Once you’ve locked in what type of job you’re after, you can begin constructing your portfolio to cater to your ideal role. Not sure where to start? Here are a few do’s and don’ts when creating a successful portfolio:

  • Do include work that speaks to you as an artist: Although studios may want to see pieces that are compatible with their own work, to catch their eye, you need a distinct style. This helps them know that you can stand on your own two feet while adapting your work to their style.
  • Don’t keep adding more: Your target should be 2-3 finished portfolio pieces. Depending on the amount of experience you have, it may be that you only have that number of pieces, or that you’ll need to be selective. Regardless, be sure that those pieces show off both the breadth and depth of your abilities.
  • Do ask for feedback: Have a new or newly updated portfolio? Share it with fellow artists through community forums or blogs and ask for critique. This can really help boost your confidence before you even begin applying and interviewing. 
  • Don’t include weak links: Remember, an unpolished project can say just as much as a refined one, so be sure to keep your portfolio consistent. The last thing you want is a potential employer thinking you only sometimes produce strong work. So if you’re hesitant about a piece, take it out.

Where Can You Find 3D Art Jobs?

Though it’s possible to find openings through word of mouth and referrals, if you’re fresh out of school, you may not have access to the network you need to make that happen. That’s where more current methods come in handy, such as:

  • Indeed and LinkedIn: International employment websites like these are an excellent way of finding an abundance of new and diverse roles every day.
  • Artstation and DeviantArt: Browsing artist-specific sites with job postings can be really helpful to find niche commission work as well as general full-time positions.
  • Particular studios: You might also decide to apply directly to the studio you want to work for. If they don’t have any jobs listed, try emailing or cold-calling them expressing your interest. Don’t forget to attach your portfolio and resume in your email.
  • Community forums: If you’re still in or newly out of school, artist forums are a great place to start building your network. 

Get Your Career Started

Regardless of the path you’ve chosen, one of the hardest parts can be starting your 3D art career. That’s why options such as opening an online shop can help you test the waters. And with Cubebrush, opening your own store takes minutes. 

Cubebrush offers the best revenue split in the industry and can provide a network for you to connect to industry vets and studios from all over. And we help you market your assets so that customers seek you out, and not vice versa. 

In addition, community forums and competitions can help advertise you and your work to the expansive network of CG artists who all use Cubebrush.

Help skyrocket your 3D art career and get some extra cash in your pocket.