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New Beginnings, Act II.

Published on April 24, 2020

Time flies extremely fast. A year and a half ago I wrote an article about my decision to switch from a career of a visual designer to a concept artist.

So here I am, after an intensive year and a half of learning, with a diploma from Syn Studio Concept Art School in my hand.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, the diploma does not matter. In the entertainment industry, what matters is your stellar portfolio. And to be open to the feedback, and eager to grow.

The main advantage of the concept art diploma program is to put 20 ambitious individuals together. Add experienced artists/lecturers, life drawing sessions, art jams and networking events, shake it and cook on high-value flame for 18 months.

Expected result? Industry-ready concept artist.

I still have difficulties to following the North-American way of communication. I like to get to the point. I believe that my directness is helpful, but here more than elsewhere, you need to learn the small-talk and avoid misunderstanding.

Sometimes I got an art commission, but I also found myself designing user interfaces between the classes and revisiting my old profession. Living costs in Canada are demanding and I wanted to increase my constrained student budget. And aside from a few trips beyond the city, I really did not have time to learn more about Quebec province or master the French language. There will be more time for this later.

I made a few new friends, met awesome people from various industries and learnt a lot of inside information from our lecturers and other artists. My art skills also levelled up.

Finally, graduating was anti-climatic. Instead of having a remarkable gala evening and drinking beers with teachers, we spent our last days glued to screens in online meetings in non-voluntary isolation. I guess nobody counted with a global pandemic in their business plans.

Was going abroad to study concept art worth it?

I wanted to answer this question after I would get a job, but as the future is uncertain (and hiring is on hold), I will keep the final review for later. However, I see progress in my work, and that makes me confident. I am fully engaged in job hunting, so cross your fingers for me!

Now you should probably check my current artwork on Instagram or Artstation and tell me what you think. :-)