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My name is Celeste Hansen. I am a student studying Interdisciplinary Visual Arts (basically a studio art degree) at the University of Washington.
Sadly, the professors there don't bridge the gap between fine arts and digital arts, so I am in dire need of serious critique and mentoring for the digital art that I've been teaching myself for the past few years.
It is my hope to become a concept artist/illustrator in the video game field, and I know that I have a lot to learn... but I'm not sure where to start. Any feedback would be so very, VERY appreciated.
Also, I know a lot of the stuff that I have is fan art of existing characters, and I've heard that it is a bad practice to have fan art in your portfolio. Is this true?
Thank you very much!
Note: The first three are speed paints studies, all right about an hour.
Last edited by Cel.Hansen; May 4th, 2012 at 07:50 PM.
Your speed painting work looks great for an hour or so, I say keep it up.
What I'd like to ask is your regimen everyday or every week for practice, which artists and what content really inspires you, and where you'd like to be in the next few years.
I'm working myself on that same dream and I'm 24, and I've found that these are damn important questions to be honest about (my own opinion, so please don't take it as solid fact).
You're on your way, but when someone says "It is my hope to become a concept artist/illustrator in the video game field," that rings with a lot of uncertainty to me. It feels like I could give you, well, ANY concept artist and illustrator job with whatever pay and benefits and hours and stress and you'd be fine with it. Which, to be fair, I don't think this is what anyone would want.
I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times, but when you have something really specific to shoot for, your brain really does work in a way that moves things towards that goal.
Hope this helps!
Well Concept Art and Illustration are not interchangeable. You can't become one or the other, whatever comes first, it doesn't work that way because they are deeply different even if the expression medium is similar (drawing and painting). You really need to chose one or the other in order to start learning techniques and philosophy about this two jobs. Judging by your current drawings you're incline to illustration (lots of soft surface, minimum design effort, lots of time in execution).
@ Sizzle: Thank you. You have a really good point, and I certainly hadn't thought of it that way before. I have a bad tendency to feel immediately grateful for any sort of job, so I guess I haven't put much solid thought into exactly what type of job I would ultimately want.
As for my weekly regimen, I try to get at least one commission and some sketching done every week, and a personal digital painting if I can make enough time. I was in the habit of doing a one hour speed painting every other day, and I really need to get back into doing that.
I think my favorite classical painter is Gustave Courbet. I sincerely love Matthew Clark over in the world over comics. For digital work, Chris Rallis, Eric Gagnon, and Andy Park.
@ Hitsu//San: Ah. Thank you. I hadn't realized that they were two different fields. I had thought you basically just worked to encompass as wide a range as possible in hopes of landing a job. I'm probably wrong then, but my view has been that artist were more nomadic "jack-of-all-trades" who work on the beginning 3-6 months of a game and then their time on that project is done.
And to both of you, thank you very much. I truly do appreciate your time and input.
Well concept artists can do illustration and illustrators can do design but the difference is in the work you've been assigned, a concept artist will work to create designs about environments, characters, props, vehicles ecc as much as he can to meet the job requirements, an illustrator will work with 1 design (most of the time they are characters + environments or just environments) and work as much as he can to do an extremely cool and precise illustration. Happens a lot in videogames or film production that the concept design will create the characters and the environments and an illustrator will make the dvd cover or posters or whatever.
Again i don't see your work going toward concept art, obviously i can be totally wrong, you tell me
Ok. Yes, I do tend to lean towards wanting to make one really solid piece over a slew of concepts. Goodness knows how many times I've tried to start a speed painting only to find myself still working on it 5 hours later.
So in that case, what should I be focusing on to improve my artwork? I'm assuming I should be start doing a lot of research into illustrators who are currently working in the field and figure out styles that are being used, interviews, etc?
Do you see any weak points in my art that I should work on improving first?
Sure, you need to study a lot (like in every field i suppose), learn what other illustrators are currently working on and what have been working to in the past and start following tendencies (the best way to do things is to be able to do what the market asks and then specialize into something when you found something you really like, not the other way).
Of course there are things you need to improve and the first two are value separation and detail management. The first one is potentially easy (i've been talking a lot about that in my previous posts) and you should learn that in order to achieve good compositions. The second one is really tricky and you must learn a solid painting technique before starting to have some results, i've been talking about this too in a topic called Question about portfolio in the Entertainment section in those days.
I think i can help for more detailed questions about painting and stuff but i don't have time to make a huge talking today so if there's something you want to ask feel free, of course in this way you'll get more than my answer