Concept art. The concept is, they will pay you for your art.
…the reality: it's the JOB that's the concept. Case in point, this lovely series I had the misfortune of dragging into reality from the recesses of my fetid imagination. But first here’s how that particular job came into light.
Responding to an ad for an illustrator in craigslist ny. Not so much a desperation move - I do this from time to time…you luck into some great work that way. To be fair, it does sometimes feel like this scene from (link: Flash Gordon. )
Well, this project did not culminate into a tribal space ritual involving tree scorpions. In a way I wish it had, that would have been kinda fun. This was the opposite of fun....anyway, this is how it began.
Looking for illustrator to work on sci-fi concept art for hot new tablet app! Must be clean vector work. Writing in a realistic - rpg style a big plus. Pay plus royalties.
While suspiciously terse, it was almost too good to pass up. My head was already filling up with notions of epic space battles involving regiments of these maniac space beings.
I mean App commissions are like pots of gold, how was I gonna pass that up? Was almost wetting my pants thinking how my awesome work would be received. I would be compensated by a distracted internet Midas nonchalantly waving to stacks of cash and stock options (I imagine him talking like Biggie Smalls), “Ugh…yeah. Twist dat Cabbage son.”
Fat Stacks! I’m in…I always wanted to do this…I was ready. Create an entire universe for these savage things to inhabit...got it. Detailed backstories for character classes...ok. Descriptive inventory information of various weapons...sure thing. Large swaths of my life spent on pushing video game rpg characters around on gaming consoles had given me all the fuel I needed to start crafting my own little pixelated universe.
Armed with that and years of online job hunting prose I crafted my most subtle and poised job ad response.
This was no mere “Hi, my name is blank, Im an illustrator. I have worked with/for blah blah blah…resume…blah blah please consider me for your project blah.” This was a scientifically formulated response engineered through copious editing and revisions to affect an almost pavlovian response“…yes, I would love to have you work on this project!”.
You sir/madam, are fortunate.
(this brash statement - with the sir/madam modifier will appeal to their sense of humor and if not present will at the least keep them reading onto the next sentence.)
My highly lauded services are open for a project as exciting as this.
(part praise, part continued boast - all still keeping their attention, and piquing their further interest with that highly lauded bit)
You will find my work experience @ www.gilosan.com. (This sentence is fabricated as a hypnotic power of suggestion - they WILL find my site. You see how I did that?)
Thats it. Simple, brief and interesting. Dare you not to look at my website after reading that. Anyway…worked like a charm. They contacted my next day.
Truthfully, I doubt it was the prose and I know when I was hiring for designers in my last position - I remembered that sifting through volumes of resumes was a serious pain in the ass. Simple email with a link ALWAYS got my response- I didn't have to read much, it was like a gift. (BTW - helps tremendously if your work is good). That's not ego - its FACT. If I came across sucky work...your clever alliterations mean dick.
We love your work! Please send us 2 character class art with backstory and some weapons and we'll go from there.
Off and running, two days of effort spilled out of my carpal tunneled wrists via adobe illustrator and my sketchbook to this:
Returned email correspondence:
Hey (Guy who gave me the job),
Here is a draft of the concept Uf F-Troop: back story as well as some weapons.
uF F-Troop Heavy Infantry Division “Brush Cleaners”
Cast: Ibererate (generally it is this cast that serve in the F-Troop)
Weight: 720-750 uL(united letrons)
Height: 52-57 uMPD(united micron planar distance)
Rank: Elite Infantry
The “Brush Cleaners” have been in the uF service for over 50 uTCC . These troops are among the most feared units of the uF ground battalion. Highly motivated and disciplined, they serve with fanatical loyalty and charge headlong into battle seemingly impervious to pain and fatigue. Rigid training and fierce exercise regiments keep these seemingly rotund fighters in top shape. The development of the F-Troops physique is largely due to the specific diet and training they receive, their girthy statures belie the battle hardened musculature beneath their armor. They are among the strongest physical specimens of the uF, the most specialized of these go on to the uF highly decorated “Bezerker Brigade”, famous for never losing a battle on any hostile territory during the massacre on Valis Nebulas Titras Moon and in total earning no less than 52 uF icons of distinction. Brutish and thug-like in mannerisms and style of warfare, they are sent in first to “soften” the enemy for later divisions. They're implementation is called for whenever ther is need for immediate and overwhelming force. They are not meant for surgical and controlled authority over an enemy. They exist to hammer the opposition to relent as quickly as possible. As the sole survivor of Thalius Harkken put it, “...when we looked on the horizon and saw that swath of green fury that was (the F-Troop) our commander said but one thing...hunker down boys, they’ve just sent in our deaths...”
sample weapon description:
So yeah, that was the submission. Couple o' sleepless nights went into those.
Seems like a good starting point, no? I could actually see the 2d pixelated art characters delivering devastating status effect and HP damage to each other on ipad screens across the globe. The gravy train with biscuit wheels was en route!
Then, no response for two maddening weeks, and after my 3rd battery of emails inquiring to the status of the project, I get this infuriating hard bounce notice:
firstname.lastname@example.org>: host mail7.hotmail.com said:
550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable
"Shit...damn...muthafucka"(yes I'm quoting Maxwell) Craigslist job posting has burned me again! Jeebus! What the hell was I thinking? I shoulda gotten a more concrete communication with this invisible bastard before I started drafting pages of notes on uF Universe canon. Phone number, website addy, mailing address - something. Shit! Mostly disheartening was the instant evaporation of "assured" financial success! Damn, no fat stacks!
Lesson? No lesson. This kinda shit happens. Just a little more wary and cautious before I go headlong into a project like this.
Although who am I kidding? This is my modus operandi. As my brother put it..."Man, you like to go FACE FIRST into EVERYTHING! Don't ya?"
Goddamn Craigslist Fake-bait Project got me again. I feel ya pain Peter Duncan...well probably not.