Confidence and a good portfolio. Many employers ultimately won't care where you went to school, only that your work looks good. If you have quality works and know they're quality, prospective employers will see that.
I worked as an unpaid intern just to get my foot in the door. Everyone thought I was nutz but now I own my own business. I couldn't afford much schooling. Experience is what matters anyway. Volunteer to do some work for free for some of the businesses in your area. If you go looking to get paid big right away, they won't even give you a chance. Mock up some items for your portfolio. Show them that you have talent. Be Patient and GOOD LUCK!
get connections! Meet another graphic artist and get them to talk about their favorite subject... themselves.
You may find that it's not what you know, but who you know.
Find some people who can help you get into the business.
Experience is important too.
I have interviewed over 2 dozen graphic artists and your concerns are easy to understand. If you want to be hired on your own merit try to showcase the best of what you have done even if it just a few things. Leave out the mediocre work. Get to know as many graphics programs as you can and try to be as computer savvy as possible. Develop a broad understanding of different graphics applications. ( Have you ever created a vector graphic? ) If you find a job you are interested in try to be as persistent as possible without being annoying. Act professional and confident. It is also good if your interest in the business is sincere. Good luck.
take a couple classes or tutoritorials. elfwood.com is a science fiction and fantasy art site, fan art too. read the rules first. you can enter your art there!
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