I’m a game artist that has been working in New York City since 2010. As much as I love New York, work here is extremely volatile, and I’ve been contemplating moving back to Japan for the past year because of the lack of security. Time and time again I’ve been a victim of mass layoffs, and I’m only 30. It’s impossible in this industry to save up money, build a family, etc when you’re being let go multiple times without even 24 hours notice. When I’ve spoken to some of my friends on the West Coast, especially fellow fem-devs, they tell me it can be just as volatile. The only difference is that there is much more opportunity.
I hear that layoffs are not as common in Japan. PLEASE tell me if I’m wrong. When I did work in Japan as a teacher, the one thing I did love was the community feel you would get working with your team. Everyone cared and respected one another, from the principal to the secretary who made the tea. A lot of employers see us as replaceable here, as another eager cog is waiting to take your spot. I think if I want to follow my dreams and have any sort of decent life, Japan will be the place I need to move to.
I’ve really only recently started my search for work in Japan. I’ve just gotten word back from Platinum Games (I know, I’m aiming high lol), but I didn’t get the position. I sent them an e-mail asking if they’d have any pointers for me, but I’m sure they wont have time to respond. Hopefully you guys have a few pointers?
Here is my portfolio: https://veronica-nizama.squarespace.com/
I’ve always felt a little iffy about my illustrated section because of the adult content, but honestly this has been the only constant source of income for me since 2008, and I’ve made some damn good illustrated comics and pinups for these communities. I suppose my hope would be that they could see the art for what it is. A manga producer friend of mine in Tokyo told me this is how a lot of artists get started.
I know living outside of Japan is a probably a huge negative, but when I apply I try and point out that I’ve lived there before - this wont be a country I get homesick from and back out. I’m not fluent in Japanese, but I can certainly hold my own. I often chit-chatted with the teachers at my school in Japanese, and watched a whole lot of Japanese TV, I also studied in High School and Uni. I can understand more than I can speak, but if I moved back to Japan I’d most certainly take up classes again. It’s so hard to practice on the other side of the world - I’ve gotten rusty!
Any suggestions on where I can apply or how I can boost my chances of being noticed? I don’t care where in Japan I’m working. Thank you for your help.