The ArtStation development team has recently rolled out a bunch of new Pro themes and have made the basic ones now free! This week, our Featured Portfolio interview is with Belgium based concept artist, Antoine Collignon. He was one of the first to try out the new Mosaic theme and loves how it organizes his artwork beautifully, without changing the aspect ratio or cropping.
Antoine uses CGI and painting techniques to create amazing story-telling illustration, keyframe and character design.
Read on to find out about his experiences and what he says makes a portfolio stand out.
What really stands out for me is simplicity. Especially as an artist where you want to be sure you art is getting the full attention in the first few seconds. Nobody cares about some big bling-bling menus and shiny stuff around. When you know that the average time spent on your portfolio is around 8 sec, you better be sure to take care of those precious 8 seconds, to extend it a little and eventually create an opportunity. You need a portfolio that can display big images and have your contact information well presented. These are the basics of showcasing your work.
Do you have any tips for getting noticed?
That’s a tricky-one. What seems to work best is consistency in your work as well as frequency. If you like environment for instance, you’re more likely to get noticed if you work hard in that direction rather than doing “a bit of everything”. If you can blast artwork weekly, then even better since you’ll definitely increase the traffic on your work, gain more fans and grow which will eventually lead to more opportunities. There is no guarantee of course and there is no magic formula, everything can work at some point. I just started to notice that lots of successful artists out there worked really hard and committed to art like there is no tomorrow. Just hard work, being obsessed with art.
There is also this luck / timing factor and you don’t have any real control over it. All you can do is just increase your luck factor and working toward opportunities if you have a strong online presence and this is only achieved by dropping art regularly, growing your fanbase and they will spread the word for you.
What kind of training or experience helped you get to where you are now?
Before that I was a graphic designer. I was creating posters illustration and logos for festivals, mostly EDM. I had a good photoshop / zbrush background because I was asked to create 3D stuff. When I discovered the entertainement industry late 2015 and decided to kick-in, I didn’t do anything particular as training, I was just stressed to sell my graphic design company and starting in an unknown path as a freelance, so I was blasting artwork as much as I could and eventually got some first gigs. It was pretty chaotic but I learned a lots of tool by experimenting by myself.
Around 2016, I wanted to improve my fundamentals and basically have some professional artist eye on my work, because I knew that at some point you need to learn from other artists, you can’t stay in your cave alone all the time right ? I took my very first class, it was a mentorship with Wojtek Fus and it definitely helped me understand how to approach a professional piece and also gave me a better structure to my workflow / learning path. I also took some Learnsquared classes with Maciej Kuciara and Alex Figini, theses a great courses and really enjoyed how highly detailled they are. You learn a lot on the technical side.
Advice for aspiring artists
I think It’s all about finding a path that you can enjoy. Find something that you like to create, then push it to the max. Be the master of what you want to create. I know it seems pretty vague but when you discover something that you like to do, just keep doing it. Don’t look at someone else portfolio and think “ok, this guy succeeded by doing this kind of work, I’ll drop what I like and do the same”. All paths are different and you, as an artist, also have your own unique successful path waiting for you.
The second point for me is the social side of art. Being an artist in 2017 can be a very lonely lifestyle, especially if you plan to work freelance. You easily get caught in this need-to-work-harder-to-get-better loop which has both good sides and bad sides and from time to time I even forget to live my life. Try to be around people that are in the same mindset as you. I can’t stress how important it is to have art buddies, the only people on earth that will understand you and your shitty 5AM grind schedule and that will give you, most of the time, proper feedback so you can make real progress.
Last advice if you’re starting out: if you like an artist in particular because you feel what he create is close to what you are creating don’t hesitate to just ask him/her if he/she does private mentorship. It’s really worth it!