How Much Money Do 3D Artists Make? (Creative Career Salary)

Is there MONEY in ART?

Or, is the starving artist myth actually real?

I wanted to dig deep in this episode around the difference between those who are making money in the industry and others who are not reaching their full potential.

And, discuss the the big question “Does art, actually pay?”

For full show notes on this episode — check out www.allanmckay.com/178/

This isn’t specifically about how much money do you make? Here we talk designer salary and does design pay – but also does VFX artists salary and game development salary make a real career? So not specifically about what a visual effects salary is (I’ll cover that more in depth later) but specifically how to build a strong creative career. Mike Hermes and others have covered great topics like this in the past I wanted to touch base on.

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You’ll get access to many private high value content around negotiating high prices, how to craft the perfect emails to land jobs consistently, how to build a strong personal brand and attract jobs to you, and so much more exclusive content I only share with my subscribers.

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Now, I want to turn it over to you: What do you want to see covered more in depth – specifically how to negotiate more money from your clients, or how to build your personal brand? Or is there another topic not covered here that you have questions about?

Let me know right now by leaving a comment.

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Youtube comments:

Hamraau Ahmed Fathuhee
thankyou Allan...i am all new to 3D art..and i am in the process of learning. this video is very helpful
Basically, be the kid who thinks adults are dumb for not doing the obvious since they are too cynical and wilfully blind. *Erin Yeager Vibes* - This makes me feel VERY powerful.
Jerry Powell
Software Dev/Automation guy took a passion to side things for Indie small projects, and jsut VFX willing to admit I could net 30k/year side stuff on 14-16 hours a week repairing what people can't fix via unity/unreal/blender/Maya products. This is roughly $36/hour 3 years later with 1 year of 3dfx home grown knowled. Also, Turning down bad work is the hardest decision here. My Big jobs came from jobs not worth doing and many refuse to admit that's even a thing.
Waww.... you're a motivator man. I m from a third world country. I just purchased a new laptop to learn 3d last month. Now everyday I can I go in a bar or restaurant to work for 3 hours. There is insecurity therefore I can't stay for long time. I dreamed to enter the 3D world for 3 years now. The best tutorials are in english therefore I improved my skills in that language. I had no laptop, I saved money and bought one. Because of insecurity you can't be peaceminded in the streets and state authorities don't provide electricity on a regular basis (haha). So I was...giving up and thinking about learning something more "accessible" to me. This video is like a revelation for me. I know what I got to do now. Thank you very much man. And thanks to the youtube algorithm too(haha). I just discover your channel. I m gonna like and subscribe right away. Keep going.
shahnaz mahpour
Thank you for great content. I live in a third world country and after watching this video my doubts and fears became less suppressive.
Alp Eren Özbay
Amazing video, it is very valuable.
D Max
Thanks buddy! Yeah, it's a tough nut to take but yeah.. you're right for sure! I'm just starting my 'second' career and it's in 3d and motion mechanics (as an engineer) and just started my YT channel but I've been dabbling in MAX/AE/Etc since 1998 so It's about time to get ramped up and take some advice from an expert .. DMAX motion sim
Austin Joseph
The competition and the misuse of passion of artist in the gaming industry.
Michaël Leclézio
thanks man very interesting and quite inspiring.
mugisha jeph
Thnx for.sharing
Daniel Alcázar Otero
Thank you Master
He saying the same stuff a 100 times
William Rumley
So, it is 2020 now. What if you've been in the game since 2006, and you've learned how to sell yourself? That you've been playing that social media game all along, and worked 8-12 hours a day for years and years to finally get to a point where you achieved the look you've been working toward? That you know your brand, and other artists say "you're on point, just keep going"? Yet you've been eating shit now for 14 years? I have tried everything except hiring a promoter. I'm hitting personal learning goals all the time. Social media has been like shouting at a wall for years, nobody sees shit. So what do you do? I do personal caricatures for people, I found my niche. But it is going nowhere beyond a few people each year paying for caricatures. What choice do I have? Selling out? Just because you take something seriously and hustle for a decade or more and have a roadmap, that doesn't mean you're going to make it a career. It won't put a roof over your head. If the industry doesn't see any value in you, no matter what you bring to their table, you're gonna eat shit. I dropped myself into this journey prepared. I had my first business at 18. I'm 48 years old. I knew things that most artists don't know. When the platforms you use to sell yourself, hide the posts you put up, there's a real issue that extends beyond yourself. You need people on the inside. You need those with clout to help promote you. There is no way around that. The only thing I haven't tried, is pretty much the last-ditch choice. Paying a firm to market what I have. I have 3-D asset stores. I have done consignment gigs selling 2-D assets. I got into the print business and tried setting up shop at shows, copied the setups of those who were doing well. I have thousands of dollars worth of prints now sitting in my closet because I can't sell them. I've been banned from a few socials, and have resorted to some Gmail kung-fu to open a new account over on Pinterest. I could go on and on. Point is, working hard and being innovative is not the magic secret. You have to be worth something to those who have the money, in the first place. Sure, I could have taken a different path, and be in game dev right now doing crap in Unreal. But that's not what I want to do. I had a vision, and very few people were able to see it, or wanted to see it. So it's just not going to happen for me. What you say here, is no different from what all the self help books I read 30 years ago said. At this point I could make more money selling videos on how to be successful, than what I am doing right now. But hey, nobody's gonna read this anyway....... if anyone even sees it.
Blue Bot
some pure gold points man. Some of these click instantly as these are mind sets I live by and helped me to build a software development business. Thank god (well not god but, tech) that we have an instant access in 2020 to top level skilled people on a global level that we can just sit and hear about their mind set in a click of a button. Also this video is another brick in the wall for my latest crossroad about building a brand around my work - Having a couple of fields Im passionate about: Game development, programming, drawing, animation and lately 3D - My social branding is a mess.. A lot of accounts on a lot of platforms.. Some you can tell its the same person some you can not (like this).. And your video is making me think that I should change all of them to my personal name and thats it and put everything of the above under those Anyways, your work is inspiring and amazing Thanks :)
high school dropout, no money no internet live in a shared house FROM AUSTRALIA :,0 (Greetings from Melbourne! Thank you so much for sharing this content XD
Troy Hayder
Competitive community of snotty ass bitches... Go solo... Or you'll have people pissing on everything you do..
Gabriel Fernandes
Living in Brazil (developing country) do you have any tips on how to get foreign clients? Great video btw
Loved it
Zeewaqar Husnain
get hands dirty in the beginning. as well as be ready to eat sh*t in the beginning. you nalied it in the end. ciao.
Yes there is a crap ton of money in ART. Just look at Disney's stock. (even during the Pandemic). And yeah it might seem like a terrible example at first glance because you are looking at an international Mega corporation. Here's the key though: MOST artists are TERRIBLE at business, not only terrible, but it's not even in their radar, and while admit that you don't get into art to get rich, even just making a decent living is hard enough, but it's because artists are easily taken advantage of.