View Full Version : Internship Questions
November 5th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I have a few questions about internships in general and I'm sure that these have already been asked but since the employment discussion thread seems to have been emptied out I'm gonna ask them now.
First, are internships generally unpaid? I figure that they are and that if they are paid it's chump change. I'm sure that it depends on the company but I just want to know in general, in your experience.
Second, are internships generally full time or part time? Again, I'm sure it varies but I'd just like to get an average idea.
And lastly (for now) how many pieces should be in a portfolio when applying for an internship? I've looked at Justin Oakford's website (he's currently interning at.... I think Spacetime Studios) and he doesn't have a whole lot, between 15 and 20 pieces if memory serves. Is this generally enough?
Thanks for your time, and if any of you might be needing an intern or someone to clean the toilets around mid April, keep in mind that I will have a portfolio put together soon.
November 8th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Not like this thread is lost in obscurity, but bump nonetheless.
November 8th, 2007, 06:21 PM
This varies widely, even within individual industries. What industry are you looking at? In the games industry, an internship may be full-time for a period of several months, or it may be full-time and ongoing; or it could be part-time, potentially. In California it isn't legal to have unpaid internships, but they exist elsewhere. Minimum wage is about the best you could expect to be paid. Frequently companies will only look locally for interns, because it isn't worth the cost to fly them in; but my own internship flew me in (that was LucasArts about eight years ago), so anything is possible.
November 8th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Seedling, thanks for the info. I was looking specifically at the games industry. You pretty much confirmed what I suspected. I imagine that for a company to fly in an intern they would either need to have highly developed skills already, more than just the potential for skill (the intern that is) or the company would have to be really in need of an intern and unable to find one locally.
I plan on doing my own search for this, but do you know offhand of any information resources that list whether or not it is legal to have unpaid internships in any given state?
Thanks for your time.
November 8th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Sorry Dose, I don't know any more than that.
November 8th, 2007, 10:13 PM
Ah well, I muchly appreciate what you do know, thanks.
November 9th, 2007, 01:33 AM
hey dose, I think you already know about my situation so..
I got very lucky.
The internship is very educational, but not really a "Training program". It's extremely fun and educational to learn about the pipeline from other perspectives and learning to communicate effectively in the pipeline.
We have alot of reference all over the place to help us create an attractive and practical atmosphere for whatever subject we are going for.
From what I've heard, in an internship at normal studios, you should expect to be doing alot of Google image crawling for either general reference or for "I want the explosion to look like this, from this movie. Find a picture so Bobby knows what to paint"
I might be totally wrong here, but from what I hear, try to get an internship at an independent developer. not only is it harder to snag one at a biggie like EA, for example, they tend to have much more strict guidelines (regarding everything), and less fun. Like, we can generally come in between 7-10 AM, and stop around 6ish. Most people play games during lunch or play for a while after work. It's fun but productive. =)
I would say.. get a connection in the industry, and intern where they are if possible.
I'm not sure how many internships are like mine... but I got extremely lucky. Not only to work with the team that I do, but the studio is great, working with great people, Austin is beautiful, I get paid for it, I learn so much, the people are really amazing, seeing how much goes into creating a game is really inspiring!
About portfolio; Quality over quantity.
-Easy one.. invest in a real website with a real domain name.
-Start with your absolute best, then have middle quality in the middle, then put your best at the end as well. 'If you start strong and end strong nothing between will really matter.'
-Fine art is a GREAT addition to your portfolio; it demonstrates your knowledge of things like composition, color theory, Value, Perspective, not to mention observational skills... all are very important.
Also, when you get an internship, make sure it's a place where you are going to learn for the entire period. I could be running coffee all day and I wouldn't care one bit, because I'm still learning from talking and watching.
Make sure you learn to be the butt of all jokes... and if you're like me and tell crappy stories, put ninjas in it.
I think that covers most of it...
Honest bit; I'm not a pro, but if my opinion counts for anything... I'd say you still have at least 1.5 years before you'll be at a stage to get the most out of an internship;, but you need to crack down and get working hard for all 18 months. Anatomy studies, life studies, painting, drawing, painting, master studies, more life drawing.
November 11th, 2007, 12:00 AM
I appreciate the reply, I was hoping to lure you in here. Definitely a very informative post and I really appreciate your 'honest bit' at the end. It sounds as though you have a wonderful opportunity and it seems to me as though you realize this and aren't going to waste it. Anyway, I'm not sure if you'll be able to answer this but generally are internships something that can be done while one is in school taking regular classes or does one have to be in an academic program that allows for them to intern somewhere to be able to swing something like that? Justin, you said that you work full time at your internship, do you know if this is common of all internships or not?
Thanks for your time.
November 11th, 2007, 02:18 AM
Often times internships can be counted as course credit if related to your major, and I assume if it's from college, internships would typically be full time (I think most do 3 month Summer internships).
November 11th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Justin, I know how it is to pull those long days, I'm talking about 18 hours days and no weekends at work for the past few weeks. However, I'm not so experienced at hitting cop cars. I hope that it works out okay though.
Thanks for the info, just what I'm looking for. I don't have any more q's right now but if you have any more a's you want to share feel free.
November 14th, 2007, 12:16 AM
Actually this would probably make a good outlet for me :D Thanks
I am extremely- EXTREMELY lucky for getting this internship. It's twice as long as normal, it's paid, and my coworkers and bosses really treat it as a learning, education experience. It's alright if I go an hour past lunch on a speedpainting, because it is benefiting me as an artist, and that is what counts. It has led me to the point where I have even worked on some actual in-game assets, so that I am contributing more than labor or looking for errors. When people think internships, they usually thing running to do errands, get coffee and such, handle paperwork, while trying to learn the gist of their potential career without actually doing anything of any value. Like an extra man or something, or someone to handle some crunch items.
The guys here are great- and they have often different opinions about any number of art related (or otherwise) subjects- even, two of them the other night were exchanging old masters who neither had heard of, One saying how it's hard for him to get into a painting if it doesn't have good shape design, where the otheris a total Turner junkie, he loves the potential image, of what could be, because you see a million things in 1 painting that nobody ever would or could have painted, and if they did you wouldn't see all the other images in your head. But both are open-minded and learning from each other and what they see in images, and learning to appreciate art they wouldn't normally like by recognizing something different than usual about it. I'm stuck in the middle in an art cyclone.
Anyways, all the guys here are very work oriented as well. One works right through lunch all the time, and the others sit and draw or paint... etc...
November 15th, 2007, 10:25 PM
Way to rub it in, haha.
Well sounds like you have a good situation and I can hope and strive to be so lucky when the time comes. If you think of anything else you'd like to share feel free, that is if you can do it when your taskmasters aren't looking or telling you to shut up...... hm ;)
November 20th, 2007, 02:45 AM
Justin. Go draw. No....seriously.