whats square one to becoming a concept artist

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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

    If I happen to comment on your sketchbook, please don't feel obliged to comment on mine. use that time instead to get back to work.

    CA sketchbook: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=245741

    Deviantart: http://luthertaylor.deviantart.com/
     

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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.

    What would Caravaggio do?
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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.


    Tristan Elwell
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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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    These questions can best be answered by being interested enough to find out. Seek your own answers...find your own path.

    What would Caravaggio do?
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    The path to becoming an artist- specifically one who chooses to do concept work- cannot be compared to the path to becoming a doctor, or a lawyer, or anything else you go to a university for.

    Sometimes the responses to these kinds of questions by members here aggravate me- you're all right, of course. I agree with you. But it's not all of the 15 and 16-year old's faults that they've been taught that there is a specific path for whatever career you want. It lies in getting good grades in high school, doing well on your SATs, then getting into a good University where you study a field you picked until you graduate, and then you are given a job doing what you studied. Simple.

    A lot of the time I wish I was studying law, or medicine. At least I would know what the fuck I was doing. What it was all for. A->B, and B->C. Repeat until job.

    Art is fucking confusing, even if you can draw. I don't have it all figured out yet. I don't know what I want to do in this huge field. And even if I did, there's still no set path. I'm not going to begrudge anyone who feels overwhelmed by it.

    Anyway.

    Do what they said.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by drd View Post
    The path to becoming an artist- specifically one who chooses to do concept work- cannot be compared to the path to becoming a doctor, or a lawyer, or anything else you go to a university for.

    Sometimes the responses to these kinds of questions by members here aggravate me- you're all right, of course. I agree with you. But it's not all of the 15 and 16-year old's faults that they've been taught that there is a specific path for whatever career you want. It lies in getting good grades in high school, doing well on your SATs, then getting into a good University where you study a field you picked until you graduate, and then you are given a job doing what you studied. Simple.

    A lot of the time I wish I was studying law, or medicine. At least I would know what the fuck I was doing. What it was all for. A->B, and B->C. Repeat until job.

    Art is fucking confusing, even if you can draw. I don't have it all figured out yet. I don't know what I want to do in this huge field. And even if I did, there's still no set path. I'm not going to begrudge anyone who feels overwhelmed by it.

    Anyway.

    Do what they said.
    Funny, I think with medicine and law you've picked two of the precious few career paths that are really that straightforward.
    Most career paths are, just like the ctreative path, messed up, confusing and more often then not lead you to some completely different place then the one you had originally set out for.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Funny, I think with medicine and law you've picked two of the precious few career paths that are really that straightforward.
    Most career paths are, just like the ctreative path, messed up, confusing and more often then not lead you to some completely different place then the one you had originally set out for.
    You're right- but we learn that it's all the same way. I did. That's why I came here asking the same questions, having the same insecurities.

    Maybe others have had different experiences, though.

     

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    Here's a post I made recently in another section, but it seems to apply to here's my offer of advice:

    There is no sure fire route to becoming a Concept Artist. People come from a variety of diverse backgrounds; some from traditional illustration, some from industrial design, others from comic books, some are self-taught. But one thing they all have in common is an unrelenting passion to achieve their goal. The Concept Artist role is the holy grail of positions in the Art Department of any production, and with schools now specializing in this I think it’s safe to say that there are many more people in the industry today than there are jobs. This is why have to be extremely passionate to make it your life long pursuit, and if you love it then you are on your way with a good start.

    With competition being as stiff as it is, a solid understanding of the fundamentals and the discipline to keep learning is everything. No one in the industry is going to care how much money you spent on school, or necessarily if you have a degree or not. -It’s all going to come down to your portfolio.

    In my experience I’ve seen extraordinarily talented people who have a natural God-given ability, but without discipline driven by the passion it takes to buckle down and do the hard work they unfortunately go no where. Someone with more perseverance than natural talent will be successful the industry, while the person with raw talent but lacks perseverance won’t. This means being disciplined to learn the classical art foundations: drawing and painting techniques, the rules of perspective, composition, anatomy, digital tools and so on. -And after your done with the list, continue building on these skills. Because there are no shortcuts, becoming great just means doing it over and over again until you nail it. But the good news is that you will get there, so don’t get discouraged by slow progress. As long as you are moving forward, you are moving in the right direction!

    All this may sound daunting at first, but no one learned all this and reached the top overnight. Even leaders in the Concept Design industry started off with bad drawings, and even worse paintings. I know, I went to school with some of them! Once you do have a portfolio that is up to par, then you can start job hunting. There is a fallacy that says “who you know” is everything to getting into the industry. But actually that is not correct. “Who you know” is not enough. You may be able to get the attention of a hiring Art Director if you know somebody, but unless your portfolio catches their eye you’re pretty much on your way out the door. But, this is where all of your hard work and sleepless nights will pay off!

    If you’re looking to get started today, then start drawing now -and continue every day. Any kind of head start you can give yourself the better. If you’re on a budget, any art school with a good reputation will teach you the basics that can be applied to Concept Art. These are VERY important as everything else you learn such as digital techniques will be built on them, so make an informed choice. What you do with the fundamentals is up to you. Of course you will have to learn Photoshop, and some 3D modeling as well. But the “flashy” advanced techniques of illustration can be learned for free these days. You can even go on YouTube and learn them from industry pros such as Feng Zhu. Although, if you can afford to remain in school do so. You will get focused attention and speed your learning.

    Keeping a sketchbook, having a good online presence, and following your favorite artists are a great way to stay motivated and in the game. But as I said, all of the above are useless without an attitude of discipline and dogged tenacity to make it happen. -But not to worry, if you’re passionate about it all the rest will fall into line!

    Hope that helps!
    For more visit my book website.

     

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  31. #19
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    Here's a post I made recently in another section, but it seems to apply to here's my offer of advice:

    There is no sure fire route to becoming a Concept Artist. People come from a variety of diverse backgrounds; some from traditional illustration, some from industrial design, others from comic books, some are self-taught. But one thing they all have in common is an unrelenting passion to achieve their goal. The Concept Artist role is the holy grail of positions in the Art Department of any production, and with schools now specializing in this I think it’s safe to say that there are many more people in the industry today than there are jobs. This is why have to be extremely passionate to make it your life long pursuit, and if you love it then you are on your way with a good start.

    With competition being as stiff as it is, a solid understanding of the fundamentals and the discipline to keep learning is everything. No one in the industry is going to care how much money you spent on school, or necessarily if you have a degree or not. -It’s all going to come down to your portfolio.

    In my experience I’ve seen extraordinarily talented people who have a natural God-given ability, but without discipline driven by the passion it takes to buckle down and do the hard work they unfortunately go no where. Someone with more perseverance than natural talent will be successful the industry, while the person with raw talent but lacks perseverance won’t. This means being disciplined to learn the classical art foundations: drawing and painting techniques, the rules of perspective, composition, anatomy, digital tools and so on. -And after your done with the list, continue building on these skills. Because there are no shortcuts, becoming great just means doing it over and over again until you nail it. But the good news is that you will get there, so don’t get discouraged by slow progress. As long as you are moving forward, you are moving in the right direction!

    All this may sound daunting at first, but no one learned all this and reached the top overnight. Even leaders in the Concept Design industry started off with bad drawings, and even worse paintings. I know, I went to school with some of them! Once you do have a portfolio that is up to par, then you can start job hunting. There is a fallacy that says “who you know” is everything to getting into the industry. But actually that is not correct. “Who you know” is not enough. You may be able to get the attention of a hiring Art Director if you know somebody, but unless your portfolio catches their eye you’re pretty much on your way out the door. But, this is where all of your hard work and sleepless nights will pay off!

    If you’re looking to get started today, then start drawing now -and continue every day. Any kind of head start you can give yourself the better. If you’re on a budget, any art school with a good reputation will teach you the basics that can be applied to Concept Art. These are VERY important as everything else you learn such as digital techniques will be built on them, so make an informed choice. What you do with the fundamentals is up to you. Of course you will have to learn Photoshop, and some 3D modeling as well. But the “flashy” advanced techniques of illustration can be learned for free these days. You can even go on YouTube and learn them from industry pros such as Feng Zhu. Although, if you can afford to remain in school do so. You will get focused attention and speed your learning.

    Keeping a sketchbook, having a good online presence, and following your favorite artists are a great way to stay motivated and in the game. But as I said, all of the above are useless without an attitude of discipline and dogged tenacity to make it happen. -But not to worry, if you’re passionate about it all the rest will fall into line!

    Hope that helps!
    For more visit my book website.

     

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  33. #20
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    It's true that concept art is a highly competitive field, and this notion may sound discouraging if this is something you think you want to do with your life. But what most people starting out aren't aware of is that there are several industries that all need Concept Artists. Video games and film are probably the most glamorized industries that we see concept art coming from, and are the most popular. This is because we all go to movies, and many young people play video games which ignites their passion. Plus we're all familiar with the "making of" art books and "behind the scenes" videos.

    However, there are other industries that are not mentioned as much; they are cartoon animation, theme parks, and toys. Concept Artists are also required for these industries as well, but the competition is not as high. This may be because the "making of" aspect isn't seen as much.

    Cartoon animation covers feature films, as well as television animation. Some of classic portfolio requirements come into play here regarding concept art; such as paintings and drawings of environments, characters, props and key scene illustrations. But if painting and color choices aren't your strength then you can focus on designing in line work. Animation is like an assembly line process in which there are designers, colorists, animators, and so on. So your line work designs will be colored by someone else, animated by another, and so on. (Just like a comic book.) There are many productions for TV which only require line drawings as a Concept Artist/Designer (and of course dead on perspective skills!). Designing in 3D is becoming more and more popular though.

    Theme park concept art can be classified in the more traditional paintings and renderings that are generally seen more often. Although, as the project goes into pre-production many of those paintings will be referenced but not adhered to as there are many technical details involved that may change a project implementation. -Such as costing, planning, architectural requirements and so on. To keep the project on track Art Directors and Designers contribute concept art that is more on the sketch level to keep the project moving forward. This is where the Concept Artist becomes a designer as well. Most of the technical know-how comes from working in the industry and picking it up on the job. All you need to rely on is your foundational training in illustration and design.

    In toy design, Concept Artists are also required to hold the role of Designers. This industry is probably truest to the nature of what a Concept Artist does as a title. Not only are you required to make the toy design look cool, but you may also expected to come up with the idea. Depending on your level of skill and experience, you'll also be expected to present your concepts to marketing and management, oversee engineering details, work with packaging, and carry the design through to final production until it hits the shelf. Concept art here deals mainly with quick color renderings and diagrams that sell the idea to higher ups in corporate management who give the green light to design. But, this means nothing if your idea isn't within the price point given to you by marketing. If your idea is too expensive to produce, you're back to the drawing board. (d'oh!)

    What all these industries have in common though is that concept art is used to generate excitement. No project large or small can do without the Concept Artist. Those making the big decisions on whether or not to approve the creative direction of the project are relying on concept art to bring their ideas into focus. Once that is point is reached though, you can make a choice to either stay with the project into pre-production, or leave and go for next big concept art painting.

    Hope that helps!

    For more visit my audio book website: "Destination: Concept Artist"
    James

     

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    ive been going over many threads and ...yeah...many people have mentioned that traditional art helps a lot .Im going to start working on that first . do you have any book recommendations for that?

    Last edited by darkboy1; February 19th, 2013 at 02:42 PM.
     

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    how do you come up with stuff to draw....ideas dont hit me when im trying to come up with something.... major problem please help

    by the way lemme remind you that ive only been drawing for like ....about a month or something so dont mind if my question sounds too stupid

     

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    www.artrenewal.org

    Get your fundamentals straight first while working on your creativity -- read, explore, go outside, live and experience life. Learn how to draw while absorbing and experiencing everything around you so you can put your ideas DOWN. You need both technical skill and general knowledge/life experience. The more you draw, the more easily you can come up with stuff. If you really have only been drawing for a month, it is likely your brain doesn't have any visual memory at all yet. That's why you can't think of anything to draw. You need to learn how to draw, and fill your brain with stuff that exists out there, before you can create anything.

     

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  40. #26
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  42. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by iruleyourworld View Post
    ...and how does one stock up on ideas?
    Ppl usually use blocks, or notebooks and something to draw with, to jot down the ideas.
    It's convenient since it's handy and you can draw practically anywhere, since ideas come...well, everywhere.

     

  43. #28
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    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
     

  44. #29
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    Seriously. Get crackin', padawan. Sop telling us about what you're thinking of doing, what you want to do, or asking how to do it. Square one is to actually draw. No more post until you have some art to show!


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
     

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  46. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Seriously. Get crackin', padawan. Sop telling us about what you're thinking of doing, what you want to do, or asking how to do it. Square one is to actually draw. No more post until you have some art to show!
    ive got finals to prepare for so my hands are full with academic books . Until im through with my finals i want to gather all kinds of useful info on art during the very little spare time that i have..... because once i start drawing i get totally engrossed in it i dont realize how much time passes by. so i will start working on my sketchbook sometime around the end of next month.

     

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