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Thread: whats square one to becoming a concept artist

  1. #1
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    whats square one to becoming a concept artist

    hello everyone

    lemme get to the point ... i wanna become a concept artist when i grow up and be a part of huge and awesome projects like halo
    Since im a beginner i find it very hard to come up with ideas...i want to become a concept artist but i am completely clueless about where to start..how does every pro concept artist start? and how does one stock up on ideas? can you help me with that as well?.... sorry if i sound too demanding but i need all the help i can get and believe me.... of all the people ive met, none are interested in coming up with ideas and designing vehicle/robot/spaceship/hovercraft concepts or anything futuristic. so for now im all out on my own. Oh..and by the way if youre thinking ive been interested in concept art for very long you are mistaken. It was only recently ..about 6 months ago that i got interested in it and boy does it take up way too much of my thinking time. Im 17 now i hope its not too late to start learning. i have decided to take a year off just to practice drawing from home after which i will enroll myself in a good university.All your views on my decision would help. And i wont entirely be learning by myself ive found some books and dvds by other pro concept artists on http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/category/18/ which i will be ordering later to help me practice during that time.


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    Moved from Tutorials.

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    search the forums. this question is asked in abundance. even google. you are liable for people to start trolling you, especially with star eater's glowing eyed demon sending subliminal messages to me to do so.
    thats your square one right now. research
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    Read every single sticky in CA even if you think it won't help - it will later.

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    To actually answer the OP's question: become an artist first.

    That is, learn to draw, compose and paint pictures and illustrations.

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    Well, ideas for game settings and characters are usually developed through research (eg historical periods, existing and past technology, existing and past architecture, and so on), so if you don't have creative ideas, that's not necessarily a dealbreaker if you can learn to pull together interesting aspects of real-world things to create new objects and environments. However, you do need to learn to draw and paint before deciding for certain if this is the right career for you. There's no such thing as too late to learn (some professionals changed their careers in middle age) but the dedication required to actually learn to draw and represent form with a high level of skill is what separates the many people who want to become professional concept artists from the people who actually do.

    If you're new to considering this, I wonder if you have considered the other art-related careers in game design? Concept art is a hugely competitive field, so much so that even people who are awesome at it aren't guaranteed a career doing it. If your goal is to become part of big games projects in a creative way and you lack drawing experience and creative ideas, you might be better off considering 3D modeling (or indeed animation, effects design or UI design) as an alternative. While this field is still competitive, it is far less so, because big games projects might require a hundred modellers to actually create the characters and environments, but only one or two concept artists. It also doesn't require the level of drawing and painting ability concept art does, though does require you to learn software packages.

    Just a few heads-up that I hope will help you in your decisions.

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    Birkeley gives good advice.

    Ideas are a dime a dozen, everybody has them. Art directors and companies won't care if you have a "stock of ideas", especially since most projects require coming up with new project-specific ideas on the fly. What art directors and companies really look for are the skills needed to visualize ideas. To develop those skills, you'll need to spend years learning to draw. And for many of those years, you will mostly NOT be drawing "cool concept art", you'll be drawing boxes and real objects, and real people, and real landscapes... Everyday stuff.

    If this still sounds like something you want to do, then forget about "stocking up on ideas" for now, read through all the stickies in the Fine Art, Art Discussion, and Tutorials forums, get some of the basic drawing books in the Reading List sticky, and start drawing like mad. Then continue drawing and studying for at least four years.

    However, if this sounds boring to you and your main goal is simply to work at a game company, you might want to consider other options besides "concept art". On the art side, modelling is a good option, and so is animating (you'll probably need a fair amount of general art skills for animation, but the focus with 3D animation tends to be on gesture, movement and expression and not so much on all the nitty-gritty stuff a concept artist should know.) Also, concept artists aren't necessarily involved in the whole project, but production artists may be involved right to the end. If art is optional, you could also consider coding - there's always demand for good programmers! (And the pay is better.) Or going even further afield, there's also sound design (this includes music,) and voice acting...

    The good thing is you're seventeen, so you still have plenty of time to try different options and see what you like doing best.

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    In addition to the good advice already offered - broaden your horizons. "Concept art" is based on reality - real architecture, real vehicles, real environments, real costuming, real creatures, real weapons. For games it is nothing more than designing "virtual worlds". These virtual worlds are full of the same things our word is full of (stuff I listed).

    Reading classic sci-fi and fantasy literature is an excellent, and important way to develop some awareness of the fantastic. Plus it's fun.
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    i havent been active on conceptart.org for a while since i had exams goin on . Anyway thanks all of you for your advice .

    i now need help with one other major problem that stands in my way ..... finding a good institution affliated to digital art... because, in my country there are not many good universities where they teach us digital art . and even in the ones that do im not quite satisfied with the works of the students who have graduated from them. since abroad studies isnt an option i will have to manage here itself.... my question to you is ... is it going to effect my future as a digital artist? ....i mean will i turn out to be a failure as one because of lack of competition and good teachers? .

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    Unless you want to work in 3D, 99% of the skills you would need are covered by a traditional art education. But make sure they teach real practical skills in drawing and painting and not the type of fluffy "fine art" program where they tell you to do whatever you want... See what their courses are, and yeah, see what kind of work students are doing. Also try to find out what kind of work the teachers have done, that's a good way to tell if they're likely to know what they're talking about.

    Also, I'm not sure what schools and departments you're looking at, but most schools don't have such a thing as a "digital art" program. However, some majors will include (or at least allow) digital art. Good programs to look at for concept art or similar work might be Illustration, Animation, Industrial Design, and there may be relevant courses hiding behind some other "Design" title, it depends on the school and how they name things...

    There's also some online schools and courses if you really can't find a good physical school - TAD has one, and they're good. (Just avoid anything from FullSail University.)

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    So what is the most popular career path of digital artists, are most of them freelance illustrators?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidsun View Post
    So what is the most popular career path of digital artists, are most of them freelance illustrators?
    Again, get rid of this notion of "digital artists" as something separate and specific. Please.

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  21. #13
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    The first step to being a concept artist is to ask loads of silly questions on Art Discussion. Things like can drawing with you foot make your proportions better or is it impossible to learn to use colour theory after the age of 12 because you brain goes all mushy at 13 onwards. After that its a small step to obsessing over materials like choosing the right pencil where the wood is made from the finest redwood trees and the paper is only available from an old Chinese couple living in France. Its gets easier from there where you buy more and more and more art books but you mustn't read them until you work out the perfect way to read them.

    This is all in jest, spend a bit of time in this forum and you will get what I mean. Honestly though its not a straight line with a single starting point its a big ziggy zaggy back and forth web of all different things to study. Just pick something that gets you excited and maybe grab a book about it. You will realise you really struggle with something that is holding you back so you concentrate on that. Then you go back again and so on and so on. So what do you want to have fun with at the moment? Cartooning? Figure Drawing? Perspective? Just dive in don't sweat it.
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