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Hiring A Pet Site Artist - Please Apply! by farorenightclaw

Hi, everyone! I'm coming to you today with a proposal of sorts - I'm looking to fill a position.

As you may know, besides doing furry art commissions, I also work for a couple of pet simulation website games. A 'pet site' is something along the lines of Neopets, Aywas, Wajas, Flight Rising, FooPets, Khimeros, or Howrse, to name a few that you may have heard of. A short version of what a browser-based pet simulation is can be found in the third paragraph of Web-Based Digital Pets on Wikipedia, here:

In order to participate in a pet site, users are generally encouraged to spend real money at some point, either to buy an account (in the case of alpha and beta releases), or to upgrade a free account, or to buy premium site currency, pets, and items that are not otherwise available. Donations are usually also welcome. The site uses this income to pay its hosting costs and its coders and artists if there's enough left over.

Currently I am the Art Director for FelisPardus, as I have mentioned here before, and an item artist for Rigganmore. I'm also the Art Director for Acinonyx Sim, which is what I'm here today to talk to you about. Acinonyx Sim, as the name suggests, is about cheetahs. Users own and breed cheetahs, Explore with them, take care of them by feeding them and giving them nutritional supplements, purchase backgrounds and environments for them, play games at the Carnival to gain site currency to spend on caring for their cheetahs, and spend premium site currency (which costs real money to obtain) to buy more chances to Explore, premium foods, and other aids. We also hope to introduce trading and selling cheetahs between users in the near future. Explore in particular is very important, allowing cheetahs to hunt, breed, fight, raise cubs, and raise stats. The entire site is very art-intensive, though a lot of that art is missing or needs to be re-done. Which brings me to my next point...

Acinonyx Sim, or AX as we commonly call it, has an important position that needs filled. With some difficulties the site has encountered along the way, finances are currently tight, and all of the site's income goes to hosting costs - and often doesn't cover even that. The site needs to be advertised more thoroughly, through ads on other pet sites, pet site enthusiast forums, animal-oriented websites, etc - and also through word of mouth. That would be where the new position comes in. We're looking for a new pet artist, someone who can style-match, to draw the additional cheetah poses we need (or even redo the cheetahs entirely, if we think your personal style would be better suited to the site) and to draw animals for Explore. If our aspiring applicant should so choose, they are also welcome to help out with backgrounds and items, as we are always making new ones. Getting new art on the site would be a huge boost, and create a lot of excitement, which AX needs to grow and improve.

Here is an example of our current cheetah art, for comparison:

As for the job expectations:

Images are fairly small at web size, at 750x550 pixels for the cheetahs and background images, and much smaller for the Explore animals, with items being 100x100 pixels.

You would be able to take art creation at a fairly easy pace, though if we decide to have you redo all the cheetahs the expectation for speed of art delivery may be increased.

You will have to work with me as art director and be able to receive direction, instruction, and critique gracefully. You will need to be committed and consistent. It would be preferred if you could also play the game on a regular basis and be able to interact with the users, though this is not a requirement.

The art you create would belong to AX at least in part, and you would be under agreement not to share it without approval from me or one of the owners. Showing your friend or partner is fine, of course, as is including it in a professional portfolio or resume, but posting it publicly would have to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as AX, being in alpha stage, is currently behind a paywall.

Finally, and most unfortunately, you must be willing to work for site currency (premium of course, and regular as well), because as I said, AX is still getting its feet under it and does not yet make enough real-world income to be able to pay its staff. This would not be the case forever; once the site's income picks up you would begin being paid immediately. However, as it is hard to say when that will be, you will have to be okay with being paid in-game or to work out a non-monetary payment plan of another type. I am the last person to say someone should work for exposure, and will do my utmost to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your work as much as we possibly can, and begin being paid in real world currency as soon as possible.

If you've read all that and you are interested in applying for the position, I will need several things from you:

  • 3 to 5 examples of fully colored and shaded animal or wildlife art (fantasy animals are fine). No anthros/taurs/etc. Please include at least one furred animal (as opposed to feathered or scaly). Please include at least 2 full-body images. No background or environment is required. Felines a plus, a variety of species is best. Adult artwork is okay for the purposes of example pieces, but keep in mind that AX is strictly G rated. Digital art only, sorry.
  • Your availability to work on pieces, and about how long it would take you to complete a sketch, the lines, the flats, and the shading for a piece (individually), as well as a confirmation that you can work in layers.
  • Confirmation that you can use a group Skype text chat to communicate on a regular basis (this is not an absolute requirement, as we can also use email to communicate, but it is preferred).
  • Bonus: If you wish to work on backgrounds and/or items as well, please include 2 or more examples each of environment paintings (with or without characters in them), and inanimate objects, props, or other items, you have done. AX focuses on natural African environments so please keep this in mind when selecting your examples.

I will be looking for those who have a good understanding of light and form, color theory, and animal anatomy, as well as those who can be consistent and regular in their workflow and communication.

Even if you are not interested in the position, please share this journal with those who may be. AX is important to me and to my friends, the owners, and we really want to see it thrive! Thanks for reading!

Hiring A Pet Site Artist - Please Apply!


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