I was wondering (because I'd like to do the concept art school next year), would training in illustration be more useful overall than training in concept art? I mean, I know they cross over in some areas, but concept art training seems much more specific to subject matter to me, and yet I know that many people trained in illustration become concept artists. But if you're trained as a concept artist, would you be likely to have that same success doing, say, editorial illustration work?
And I know that this is a difficult question and depends on the individual, but I'm just curious to see what you all think of this question.
I studied illustration in a degree program and I recall 'editorial illustration' (one of the largest topics we covered vs other forms of illustration during the 4 years) was the most difficult for a lot of people in the program to grasp.
It takes a bit more thinking than just doing literal imagery... like if the article you're illustrating is on computer networking -- if all you draw is two computers attached then you're probably doing it wrong (that would just be clipart). It takes a while to learn how to take an idea and then create a clever image that becomes an instant read on that idea.
With that said I took my illustration education and now I do art for movies... but other people from my program went on to do editorial.
It's going to totally depend on the school and the individual program. Remember that, prior to the last few years, there was no such thing as a "concept art education," and the number of specialized programs is still very few. Some illustration programs, even some fine arts programs, are well equipped to give you the sort of training you'd need for working in films or games, others, absolutely not. Also, remember that what you think you want to do now, what you decide you want to do if and when you are in school, and what you end up doing may be totally different things.