Art: Full time illustrator, looking to make a switch to concept art
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Full time illustrator, looking to make a switch to concept art

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Full time illustrator, looking to make a switch to concept art

    Hey all. I've been a freelance illustrator working in collectible card games, and other games for a few years.
    You can see my portfolio here: http://www.joewilson-illustration.com/

    I've worked with Sony and Blizzard on card game art, in addition to other smaller publishers, and I've been full time with freelance for a few years, so I feel like I have some experience under my belt.

    I've been thinking seriously for some time that I'd like to make a switch to concept art, and possibly find a full time position (or even freelance in this other direction). I was hoping I could get a few people working in the field willing to give me some guidance on tailoring my portfolio for this kind of work. I've thrown together a quick blog (not formatted or ready for AD eyes) to show the work I have on hand, and I'm working up more samples that I think are more specific to a concept artist position.

    http://joewilson-conceptart.blogspot.com/

    I'd love some extra feedback from pros in the field. Stuff like "more of X", "throw out Y", "do a few pages of Z". Maybe some links to "perfect" concept art portfolios. I'm open to any and all advice. Thanks!

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Perhaps more examples within the thread rather than a link would generate more of a response.

    Attached Images Attached Images        
    Last edited by J Wilson; February 29th, 2012 at 11:55 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Character portraits were for various Piazo Publishing games and supplements. Most of the rest are personal studies and projects.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Weapon silhouettes

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #5
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,896 Times in 2,544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hey Joe - good stuff. You have a solid sense of form and color and your ideas come across clearly. As an AD I would want to see more process work/exploration of particular concepts/subjects. Keep in mind that concept work is about exploring a broad range of ideas more than finished work. If I see you can do decent finished work on one or two pieces I don't need to see it on any others.

    As far as specifics...
    Environments are a bit weak - I would leave those out. Unless you really want to be doing environments, in which case they need more work.
    More full figure work as opposed to a lot of busts.
    Along with that maybe more costume examples/variations.

    Basically it feels like one idea=one illustration. Try to think of it more like one idea=10variations. Hope that helps - good luck!

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks JeffX99. You are spot on, as most of this is pulled directly from my illustration work to see what I had on hand to start a concept art portfolio. Unfortunately I haven't always saved much of my exploration stage stuff until recently (or it looks dated to me compared to my current skill level), so iteration work is where I'm focusing next.

    I'll probably pull the environment stuff out before I start seeking work with it. I'll focus on characters/creatures and weapons/armor first. Thanks for the help.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #7
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,896 Times in 2,544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Glad to help man. The obvious solution is to set yourself up a couple of "briefs" to work from. Might make one somewhat comprehensive, like 5 races, their weapons, mounts, symbols. Another maybe more in depth exploration of a single character/creature with upgrades. Basically you want to think of the kind of work that you would be doing day to day and shoot for showing that ability. I've been assuming video game design for some reason...slightly different exploration for film or animation or toys.

    Edit: (should have been in first reply) You did a good job with the color variants on the fish-man thing. That showed you know how to explore color variations. An AD is going to want to that, but one example should be enough. They're more interested in seeing a bunch of interesting directions you took that character before deciding on that one.

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:


  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Update with character design iteration.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,878
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 808 Times in 662 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    This stuff looks solid...nice clean renderings. Two thoughts (and, FYI, I'm not a concept artist, so take it as you will):

    1. Stylistically, everything here feels very WoW/WoTC....you might want to consider doing at least some stuff that tries to escape from the existing hidebound genres (D&D, Starcraft, Disney, Japanese cuteness, etc.), if only to demonstrate to potential clients that you can think independently.

    2. The anatomy and proportions on the characters here feel, overall, serviceable-but-not-really-great. It might be worth it for you to make a push toward a more analytical approach to the human figure---work from photos, take some life-drawing classes--to help your work stand out from the pack.

    As always, just my two cents.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Giacomo For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    In front of my workstation
    Posts
    627
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 238 Times in 182 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    As you can tell i like your work and your knowledge J but what Giacomo is saying is true. You keep doing nice and polished works but you've never pushed yourself into this stuff. It's like you're setting a photographer studio to shot at your subjects. Years ago a professional painter said me this: Doing art is like doing love, when i was young i hate to get dirt with colors, mess up the canvas and do something i cannot totally control. When i've realized that this was the fun thing about art i've enjoyed much more doing love.

    This thing opened one of my 145 eyes at that time, hope you can understand what i'm talking about

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Hitsu//San For This Useful Post:


  15. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks Giacomo and Hitsu//San

    My work feels very WoW and WotC probably because that's the exact field I work in (I'm actually working on more WoW cards right now). My illustration portfolio was built for that kind of work, and this concept portfolio is partly built from existing work.

    I want this concept portfolio to meet the needs of a potential client, but it still needs to remain somewhat visually consistent with the rest of my work. That isn't to say I'm not open to evolving (and certainly to learning- I hope to always be learning), only that I don't think it's a good idea for me to have a radical departure in look, simply to have one.

    Still, even with that said, I know I've already established that I can do a somewhat "polished" look, so I was thinking that my next images should definitely show the looser, faster style I work in also.

    Thanks for both the interest and help guys

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    429
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    what made you tire of illustration and want to make the switch?

    btw seen ur stuff before, is nice!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Tad For This Useful Post:


  18. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    212
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 56 Times in 51 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Im not sure if you saw the latest feng zhu video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TVji...1&feature=plcp

    Feng explains the difference in illustration and concept art. And one thing I can spot in your work is the lack of perspective drawings.

    Feng explains that illustrators do more figures, protraits, landscapes, (soft stuff) and concept artists do environments, vehicles, (more angular, hard metal stuff)

    I suppose you need more angular metallic stuff in your portfolio. Cars, tanks, futuristic buildings etc..

    Good Luck!

    Immoral Cintiq's Sketchbook

    "Society will DRAW a circle that shuts me out, but my superior thoughts will DRAW me in." -Marva Collins

    "Character is what you know you are not what others think you are." -Marva Collins
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Immortal Cintiq For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Some new concepts.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  21. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Tad, I love freelance, but it's a tough life at times. I thought when I started landing bigger and better paying clients it would get easier, but I still end up waiting long periods for checks sometimes. Also, the money can be good at times, and at others it can seem rather poor. To make ends meet I still need to take jobs on both ends of the spectrum. Then there's things like health insurance, and when I went looking for a new apartment discovering that "freelancer" may as well mean "unemployed" to many people.

    I'd like to try getting a concept art position somewhere, or at least add in the possibility of getting that type of work freelance, just to have more options. Ideally I'd love to keep freelancing, as the freedom is awesome, and I love a lot about it, but it has to be weighed against other factors. And rates keeping falling in the industry rather than increasing with the cost of living, so it gets harder and harder to justify.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  22. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,081
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Immortal Cintiq, thanks for the link

    Yeah I don't have a lot of that hard/metal stuff in my book yet. I figure I'll start by covering the things I'm good at and have lots of experience with, and move into that other stuff when I feel like my main strengths are well represented. Currently I'm thinking monsters and characters (although I know those are the most competitive areas of concept art), move into weapon and armor design, then start tackling other stuff.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  23. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Cintiq View Post
    Im not sure if you saw the latest feng zhu video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TVji...1&feature=plcp

    Feng explains the difference in illustration and concept art. And one thing I can spot in your work is the lack of perspective drawings.

    Feng explains that illustrators do more figures, protraits, landscapes, (soft stuff) and concept artists do environments, vehicles, (more angular, hard metal stuff)

    I suppose you need more angular metallic stuff in your portfolio. Cars, tanks, futuristic buildings etc..

    Good Luck!

    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that video is about the difference between illustration and industrial design, not concept art.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  24. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    In front of my workstation
    Posts
    627
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 238 Times in 182 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Superbacon1 View Post
    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that video is about the difference between illustration and industrial design, not concept art.
    I think that too but the majority of concept art needed today for a product is about industrial design or environments in general, think about movies

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  25. #19
    dpaint's Avatar
    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,649
    Thanks
    2,622
    Thanked 5,881 Times in 2,355 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Depends on what you want to do. There is plenty of concept art that is environment and fantasy, not industrial design. Its good to be a generalist though and not pigeon hole yourself out of the gate.

    I think you have the right idea, play to your strengths and expand slowly into other areas.

    Last edited by dpaint; June 5th, 2012 at 10:29 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  26. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SWE
    Posts
    2,536
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 1,309 Times in 389 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    It's not easy to know where you have your clients. Some prefer more polished stuff, which means less time for exploration. Others like when you give them roughs which they can respond to. If you've worked with a client for some time, they know your capabilities and might eventually accept rougher stuff for the initials.

    If you start out with polished stuff, and your client wants to change a lot, you're gonna have a bad time.

    But if you want to promote yourself, polished stuff is more effective.

    As for having an impact... you need to think about what your niche is and what the quality of your stuff is compared to the competition's.

    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  27. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    82
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Your sense of color and when to use it is inspiring

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 2

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •