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Cant find staff


Tommy L
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If I hadnt posted job in the jobs section, yes, I'd be a douche-bag. But I have and I cant find suitable arch-vis guys in the Chicagoland area. Am I missing something? Where is everybody? Why are there no out of work starving artist savants like in the good old days?

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Whilst I'm not entirely privy to the interviewing process at our place, I have been called in to ask a few questions to the potential talent that they've got in to do the job and quite frankly none of it is of a good enough quality. In fact one chap tried passing off somebody else's work as his own on the basis that he had modelled the very, very, very basics of the building; then sent it out to a huge, well known viz firm.

 

It wasn't even that they couldn't model, or texture; it's that je ne sais quoi, that artistic touch that was missing. I appreciate it's something that takes years of practice to get good at, but I personally would sooner take on a junior and teach them the ropes properly rather than take on somebody that has picked up bad practices elsewhere.

 

That said, it's not up to me who we hire! :p

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A lot of the good ones are working these days. When we've looked for freelance help in the Denver area, we've found really talented people, but unfortunately/fortunately they were booked solid with work.

 

There is also a lot of talented recent graduates out there that are just new to this industry so they may not have the world's best portfolio or work history. That certain 5% that is missing from someone's portfolio needs to be learned through experience in most cases. However, it is a a risk to take these people under your wing. I would image that risk is increased 10-fold for someone who has a very small staff. Because if they don't work out, it could be a massive blow to your production where as with a larger company you can absorb the new person's mistakes.

 

Have you tried the ASAI website for the Chicago area? There might be some people on there.

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You are looking for someone to work in-studio, that's why the Chicago part is important?

 

I see a lot of ads for people like us for NY arch-vis and architectural shops, I do not know if they find people or not. Interestingly enough, I have responded to a few that sounded right for my experience/skills and never gotten so much as a 'thanks but we filled it' back. Either they aren't looking that hard or I'm too weird to be employable.

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You are looking for someone to work in-studio, that's why the Chicago part is important?

 

I see a lot of ads for people like us for NY arch-vis and architectural shops, I do not know if they find people or not. Interestingly enough, I have responded to a few that sounded right for my experience/skills and never gotten so much as a 'thanks but we filled it' back. Either they aren't looking that hard or I'm too weird to be employable.

 

You looking for a job Ernest? Let me know if youre in Chicago....

Ive responded to all applicants, even if just to ask if they were eligible to work in the States. Which most were not.

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Having just left a full time job with a well known vis studio here in the UK, I'd say that at the minute it's very much a freelance market. There is a hell of a lot of work out there and the talented guys are realising they can do it themselves rather than with the backing of a big company. And to be fair, make a hell of a lot more money in the process.

 

That being said, that's not why I left my job. I had other priorities but thats another story. However, what I will say is that they too have been trying to expand and struggling to find the right candidates. But personally I think that's half the problem. When they first gave me the job I was awful at what I did, but they gave me the chance based on my passion and potential. I'd like to think it turned out to be a good move for them. All I'm saying is don't necessarily look for the finished article. They're all freelancing or working at well known companies already. They'll come looking for you if they want to work for you. Instead you should look for the potential in people, you'll get a lot more growth from them, a lot more dedication to learning the craft that they'll give you, and probably a whole heap of fresh ideas if you listen to them.

 

Purely because of how I landed in the industry I'd never look directly at someones portfolio and base my decisions off that alone. "Nah that image looks rubbish I'm not hiring you" sort of thing. Also don't necessarily look for arch viz guys. Arch viz by and large is a tiny industry, 3d on the other hand isn't. There will plenty of 3d guys looking for a route into the industry, yes they might join, learn, become great and leave, but so what. Where would your business be if you hadn't hired them?

 

Just my 2 cents

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@Dave Buckley, yes, what you say is true, but thats all very much seen from an employee perspective. When you say "join, learn, become great and leave" that indeed is a problem. WHile I came to the industry the same way you did (started at 3dcom with no 3d experience) Im not here to give a paid education, Im here to service my clients.

I am also not disregarding people with a thin/poor portfolio, but I need to see potential in a portfolio. I cant just take any old crap and make do, I just cant absorb that kind of ineptitude in a very small studio.

truth is, there has just been a lack of credible response for anyone who could potentially work onsite.

@Justin, I feel your pain, I hated being the in-house guy. Good luck with the search. Just looked at your Blogspot, I think your 3d work is good, your sketches are wonderful, surprised you are struggling to find your way into a studio.

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Tommy it's also very hard to find staff in the UK and Australia at the moment.

 

When you advertise (from cg architect through to the large corporate employment sites) the candidates are 95% inappropriate, oversell their skills or are ineligible to work in these countries.

 

no folio isn't everything when looking for artists, however when you are looking for someone senior who can come in and produce commercial level work its necessary to have a high level of folio in both motion and stills - it depends what you need? Is it a peer to work with or someone to work for you that will require more training and effort. The right personality and fit is also hugely important in a studio environment -and this is amplified the smaller the team.

 

I still ultimately think personal connections are still the best way to meet people. Is there a 3D get drunk / meet up in Chicago ? I previously got my jobs via

*stretching* the truth (then scrambling to catch up) about how well I know 3D and talking to people online.

 

There is a lot of work around at the moment in our industry which makes its an attractive proposition to work in a freelance capacity. who knows how long this will last, the best ones will prosper and always be in demand but most will fall off within a few years and try and get back into the studios.

 

There are benefits to both freelance and studio based work and artists tend to oscillate between these positions every few years.

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I imagine it would be difficult to attract top talent to Chicago. The cost of living is high, winters are brutal, the state is a bit of a mess and most of the top talent is in a stage of their life where school districts are more important than pubs. Mix all of that up with an industry that sits near the bottom of the pay scale compared to complimentary sectors and you end up with a rather unbalanced equation.

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Tommy it's also very hard to find staff in the UK and Australia at the moment.

 

 

.

 

Had to find staff in Australia.... lol I find that had to believe.... That said finding quality staff in Au is probably a fair bit harder...I don't know what its like in america or Europe but in Australia most of the course/uni degrees are only 2-3 years.... can imagine many of the student get too far learning more than the basics! especially seeing most of the course seem to try and cover game design, modeling, animation and rendering!!

 

Maybe advertise in Canada lol i'm told all the good student from au that cant find a job here go there!!

 

GL hope you find the man of your dreams ;)

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i dont understand what you mean.

 

there isnt a 'arch vis' degree. most of the people in the industry at the moment are from architecture, art school, photography or games / vfx backgrounds.

 

the best people are self taught.

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I wanted to know this for a while now, is it a difficult/expensive process for the US companies to sponsor a foreigner ?

 

Yes, very difficult. There are only so many H1B visas that the US Government allows per year, I think it's somewhere around 85,000 a year. It is usually a long process that isn't worth it unless you just happen to be the best of the best of the best arch viz guy out there.

 

Some info, http://www.workpermit.com/us/us_h1b.htm

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I'm trying to get back into Architecture/ArchViz, and it's difficult to find a place that pays enough. In Michigan the payscale has moved very little in the past 20 years. Going through the recession has kept the pay down. The last couple job posting I saw, I was making more money in the late 90's than they were paying.

 

So that situation is keeping me as a freelance artist, for now. The last design job I offered to do ArchViz work on my own time for them if they would get the starting salary up to what I'm making ay my current job. They didn't bite.

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