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  1. #1
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    "Is it too late?" - Start to learn concept art.

    Hey guys, i'm new here and i wanted to ask you some questions about differents things (not too much ;-)),

    Since my 13 years old i had in mind that i wanted to pursuit something related to graphic design, but what I always really wanted is to become a concept artist.

    Unfortunately, i got in mind, my whole adolescence, that this job is for natural talented people and I kinda deleted the idea of become one and focused in graphic design... I know that sounds ridiculous, but what can we do..?

    Actually, i'm 19 almost 20 years old... i'm feeling old to start in this area. I'm realising that making logos and websites the rest of my life it wont be what i really want, even if it's ok...

    I've watched a lot of stuff about concept art to take off this idea of my head, just for example the Feng Zhu Design videos in his youtube channel, and what i see is that with hard (painful?) work and motivation, everybody can become a concept artist...

    My visual library is completely empty... doing something from my imagination is really hard for me, so i focused on realistic paintings (that you can find in my signature) but i want to change that. I guess I need to learn the fundamentals.

    So what do you think is the best way to start for me that did always copies of things ? What school would fit best, graphic design or industrial design? I know the way, but at the same time i'm completely lost... I need some help to continue the right way...

    Thank you very much!

    PS: Sorry for my basic english, it's not my native language and I'm still learning how to speak properly. Hopefully you can understand my message


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  3. #2
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    OP, can I ask you a question? (besides this one)

    Why do you think it's too late to start? I'm curious as to why people always say this, so I'd like to hear your well thought out answer why you think it is too late?

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  4. #3
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    Yeah sure you can

    Actually, I don't know... In a way I feel that there are thousand of people younger than me, and better, and well I don't mind how much i'll win in the future, but in this area, if you are not amazing, you don't get a job. Maybe that's the reason. So graphic design is easier in a way, the level is not that high...

    But that's why i'm here, to do what I really want and try to don't think too much about that...

    Last edited by Muze; February 25th, 2013 at 08:10 PM.
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  5. #4
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    It's not too late, it's never too late.

    Start a sketchbook, show us your drawing skills, and show us you're serious. Then you'll get critique and feedback. All we can give you is some generic advice like go read some books from http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...s-Reading-List
    and focus on the fundamentals http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...53#post3163053
    Draw from life, draw everyday, draw as much as humanly possible.

    Last edited by Ryan Provenzano; February 25th, 2013 at 08:20 PM.
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  7. #5
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    Taking a look at your DA in your signature, you already have good observational skills, and a good understanding of digital painting, values, etc. I'd say you are ahead of most 19 year olds. That being said, there is a lot that you are lacking as well, and just being ahead of most people at your current age means little. Even if there are thousands better than you right now, that won't stop you from getting a job in the future if you improve (plus there are lots of jobs in the field).

    If you want to start getting into concept art, I'd suggest focusing on construction and thinking in 3d as much as possible. Start painting out of your head, even if it is clumsy or bad at first. Do a mix of painting from reference (preferably less from photos and more from life) and painting from imagination. Also start studying design of things to build your visual library up. If you want to learn something, say armour, then do some research on it, what parts is it made of? Why? What materials? What type of fighting was it designed for? What time period? etc As you do your research copy out things to get it's visual language into your head. Then try to draw them from memory too.

    As for programs...definitely industrial design would be better than graphic design if you want to be a concept artist. Where do you live?

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  9. #6
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    Nexuun: Thanks man, the topic got such an impressive list of books! I knew some of them, I've heard good reviews about the Loomis's books, I'll start from there. And yeah, draw a lot!

    Andrew Sonea: Thank you for your opinion, you're probably right, I'm thinking too much about the shapes and the values and not the forms and the way things are constructed. I need to build a designer and not a painter mind, kinda hard when you did the same thing your hole life... Anyway, i was asking between those two formations because I actually prefere graphic design over industrial design. I mean, industrial design is cool when you do entertainment industrial design, but has a lot of areas where you can work, like vehicles, electronic devices, etc.. and I don't really want to end up in this particular area - creating cellphones and washing machines is not really cool. I prefere graphic design over that.

    I live in Portugal. I went to College this year in "Design of Communication" but i didn't like the way the school was giving lessons so I'll change next year in a polytechnic school. I have the option between graphic and industrial design. I live in a country where education is not synonym of quality... thinking that i was born in Switzerland and had to move here make me sad, but I have to deal with it. :/

    Last edited by Muze; February 25th, 2013 at 09:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    OP, can I ask you a question? (besides this one)

    Why do you think it's too late to start? I'm curious as to why people always say this, so I'd like to hear your well thought out answer why you think it is too late?
    I used to think this a long time ago, too (Like 4 years ago getting out high school). It had been ingrained in my brain that only those who started REALLY young could make it to a professional quality / masterful level. I have no idea why, but I had been told several times you have to start super young or you'll never obtain the skill good enough to be recognized (yes, actual teachers told me this). Of course, now I think that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard because I know more about it. The unfortunate thing about art is that there isn't much good education for it and people see it as a mystical subject that only those with natural talent (and having started young) could do. It's shrouded in mystery and bad information that for some reason permeates the subject specifically (probably because of lack of good education in public school systems) that confuses the shit out of young people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post
    I used to think this a long time ago, too (Like 4 years ago getting out high school). It had been ingrained in my brain that only those who started REALLY young could make it to a professional quality / masterful level. I have no idea why, but I had been told several times you have to start super young or you'll never obtain the skill good enough to be recognized (yes, actual teachers told me this). Of course, now I think that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard because I know more about it. The unfortunate thing about art is that there isn't much good education for it and people see it as a mystical subject that only those with natural talent (and having started young) could do. It's shrouded in mystery and bad information that for some reason permeates the subject specifically (probably because of lack of good education in public school systems) that confuses the shit out of young people.
    I have the exact same feeling... and when you grow up with that in mind, is like riding a bike, you can't forget that... So I'm fighting with my mind to think in a different way... I guess, like you, it's the dumbest thing someone can say, but when you are young you can't realize that

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    You are talking about college but you could also look for a different education. It doesn't have to be college or you could even do it self-taught, but it's harder.
    Look at this school:
    http://www.odd-school.com/pt/courses.../concept-art-1

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    You are talking about college but you could also look for a different education. It doesn't have to be college or you could even do it self-taught, but it's harder.
    Look at this example:
    http://www.odd-school.com/pt/courses.../concept-art-1
    Looks pretty awesome! o_O And it's portuguese.. How did you find that?

    But it's extremely expensive, at least for a portuguese.

    Anyway, about self-taught, nowadays with internet it's possible with motivation, but like Feng Zhu said, the competion is really hard and there's way too many people beeing teached in schools that provides a high level of eficiency... and my parents wouldn't accept that. They think without a formation i can't find a job [retarded minds ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    You are talking about college but you could also look for a different education. It doesn't have to be college or you could even do it self-taught, but it's harder.
    Look at this school:
    http://www.odd-school.com/pt/courses.../concept-art-1
    This is true too. Certain schools work for certain people, and some people don't do well in any school environment.

    Muze, for reference, I am the same age as you. Personally, I went to Sheridan College for illustration...it is generally considered to be the best illustration program in Canada and one of the best in North America (or so I have been told). I did most of first year there and found it was really useless and I wasn't learning, and it didn't look like the program would pick up at all, so I decided to drop out. Now I'm trying to learn the skills I need on my own; I'm working as a line cook right now to make some money while trying to learn paitning on my days off. It's a tough path, but others have succeeded at it. I'll let you know how it goes in 5 or 10 years

    Long story short, figure out what path will be best for you, and realize that this path may not align with what others do or what others expect you to do.

    EDIT: Saw your post above mine. You can try to talk with your parents and show your viewpoints, they might change their minds. Also, many schools offer scholarships for strong portfolios, so you can look into that, or look into any programs/groups/whatever that may provide financial support for you.

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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    You are talking about college but you could also look for a different education. It doesn't have to be college or you could even do it self-taught, but it's harder.
    Look at this example:
    http://www.odd-school.com/pt/courses.../concept-art-1
    Looks pretty awesome! o_O And it's portuguese.. How did you find that?

    But it's extremely expensive, at least for a portuguese.

    Anyway, about self-taught, nowadays with internet it's possible with motivation, but like Feng Zhu said, the competion is really hard and there's way too many people beeing teached in schools that provides a high level of eficiency... and my parents wouldn't accept that. They think without a formation i can't find a job [retarded minds ]

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    This is true too. Certain schools work for certain people, and some people don't do well in any school environment.

    Muze, for reference, I am the same age as you. Personally, I went to Sheridan College for illustration...it is generally considered to be the best illustration program in Canada and one of the best in North America (or so I have been told). I did most of first year there and found it was really useless and I wasn't learning, and it didn't look like the program would pick up at all, so I decided to drop out. Now I'm trying to learn the skills I need on my own; I'm working as a line cook right now to make some money while trying to learn paitning on my days off. It's a tough path, but others have succeeded at it. I'll let you know how it goes in 5 or 10 years

    Long story short, figure out what path will be best for you, and realize that this path may not align with what others do or what others expect you to do.

    EDIT: Saw your post above mine. You can try to talk with your parents and show your viewpoints, they might change their minds. Also, many schools offer scholarships for strong portfolios, so you can look into that, or look into any programs/groups/whatever that may provide financial support for you.
    Jesus christ i'm getting crazy with this forum, i lost the long post i wrote... damn problem!

    Anyway, i was saying that i was extremely impressed by your work for your age, you're insane and you make me want to practice so bad ! I guess it's good...

    It sounds like we are in the same situation, i went to the supposed best school of my country and i was very disappointed with what they teach... I'm used to be self-taught since my little age but I'm not sure I can learn this massive subject on my way...

    About my parents, i already talked with them, but it's a complicated subject. I'll try again soon!

    Anyway, thank you for your help!

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