I am now full time at Hi-Rez Studio's in Atlanta GA as a concept artist on Smite...a free to play 3rd person MOBA. Check it out at smitegame.com, when I am able, I will post some Smite stuff and maybe even a fanart or two.
I also really want to say something about reference.
If you want to be pro, don't be too proud to not use it. Don't get caught up in the deviantart BS about being original or cheating. Hell. Cheat your ass off. Just don't steal something that is not yours.Beyond that...all is fair game. Do what makes good art turn great, not what makes some noob ass 12 year old on deviantart "approve" of your methods. If the method is important to you, then don't try to be a production artist in any form. Just enjoy the road to making your artsy art instead of the results. The result is all that matters in production art. As long as you aren't breaking the law....go for it.
This industry isn't for cry babies, it isn't for proud people, it is for professionals. And professionals win.
When people complain about ref it is about as legit as saying a Formula 1 team has to build it's engines....without looking inside any other engines that came before it. Does an F1 team build their own race engines? Yes, but they are standing on generation after generation of engine tech. They have broken apart any engine they could get their hands on and taken tech that they feel would benefit them and used it. Why...because winning is the goal. Winning should be the goal with production art as well. This isn't a place for warm fuzzy feelings about "art". It is a place where time, quality and money matter. For everyone involved. It is a capitalist venture where the world will not wait while you stick up your nose, put on your Andy Warhol wig and "ponder" your art. It is a place where you must complete something, be proud for a brief second, then forget it and do the next thing.
If you don't use reference whenever possible, then you are cheating yourself and your clients. You are saying you are better than the masters while assuming that one day you will somehow "practice" your way to perfection. That is a lie. You forever be doomed to grace only the walls of your own deviatnart and maybe only get $20 "commissions" from a ahndful of watchers. If you want to play with the big boys....look at photos, life and other art...all the time.