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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Gaming Career Resources: Concept Artist

Resources for those interested in a career in Game Development.

Contributor to Concept Art Job Description

James Holland
Concept Artist

Concept Artist Job Description

What is a Concept Artist?
A concept artist creates a visual representation of an idea for use in movies, video games, animation or comic book before it is added into the final product.

What do you actually do?
Concept artists draw or paint characters, graphics, environments, weapons, vehicles, or anything that is called for on a project. The quality of the illustration style can vary from quick and ruff to detailed and refined. Concept artists are often asked to gather reference for the ideas they will be illustrating.

What are the general qualifications?

  • Illustration skills
  • Communication skills
  • Design understanding
  • Understanding of perspective
  • Color theory
  • Basic understanding of Photoshop (or similar program)

What sort of classes (if any) would you suggest to someone interested in becoming a Concept Artist?
As a concept artist you are asked to explore many different areas. The following is a list of possible areas that could be helpful to someone interested in a career as a concept artist.

  • Life Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Photoshop
  • Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Art History
  • Contemporary Issues in Art
  • Industrial Design
  • Introduction to Image Making
  • Design Drawing
  • Product Innovation
  • Theatre
  • Fashion

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