When we play Dungeons and Dragons at my local game store, sometimes we are honored to have Erik Scott de Bie as one of our DMs. Erik is an expert on the Forgotten Realms, D&D’s most popular world, and he has co-authored the recent Neverwinter Campaign Guide and written the modules Halaster’s Lost Apprentice and The Lost Crown of Neverwinter.
My character in the current D&D Encounters season
One of the players asked Erik how he had come to write for Wizards of the Coast. Erik replied with the same advice applicable to job seekers in any field: get to know people in the industry. In Erik’s case, that meant joining online communities and attending gaming conventions.
Now it’s no secret that I plan to become a professional artist in the future, and have been spending all my free time improving my art skills because of it. But I should also be spending time getting to know people in the industry. Although my immigration status forbids me from leaving the company I currently work for, that is no excuse for not at least trying to network. Even if I can’t leave my job, I could become an elite fan artist like Justin Treadway or Souin Kuhou. (I would have to become better at drawing first, but I’m working on that.)
I decided it was time for me to meet people at conventions. The problem is, I had no portfolio to show to contacts and recruiters. All I had is my Pixiv page, a business card and a resume that shows 5 years of experience at an unrelated IT job.