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    Concept Artist vs. Concept Illustrator

    I noticed that some people are credited as a "conceptual artist" and others as a "concept illustrator". Is there a difference?


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    I prefer the term conceptual illustrator mostly because the term concept artist, within the academic world, means something along the lines of idea driven abstraction. "Conceptual illustrator", I think is a bit more straight forward and does more to imply that the content belongs to an actual narrative.

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    So there's no real reason for the differentiation between the two on movie or game credits?

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    perhaps there's a distinction based on how much of a given concept an artist actually provides. with a really complete brief, lotsa detail, like a verbal blueprint, then that sounds more like the art of illustration. if the artist takes a basic concept and develops it in detail well beyond the initial brief, i'd see that as conceptual artistry. still alot of grey area in there, though, it may just be a matter of word choice.
    Last edited by masque; March 28th, 2006 at 12:19 AM.
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    with a really complete brief, lotsa detail, like a verbal blueprint, then that sounds more like illustration. if the artist takes a basic concept and develops it in detail well beyond the initial brief, i'd see that as conceptual artistry.
    Yeah, 'cause we all know that illustrators aren't artists.
    (Not directed at you, masque, just sayin'...)

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    All illustrators are artists, not all artists are illustrators, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Yeah, 'cause we all know that illustrators aren't artists.
    (Not directed at you, masque, just sayin'...)
    mmmfrg, grmawmm. urfurgh... (lemme get both feet outta my mouth, please)... better.

    most abject apologies, i really worded that badly.

    better now?
    Last edited by masque; March 28th, 2006 at 12:19 AM.
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    i didnt even think illustrators were human! god knows i never i see daylight, or the.... "outside" is it?


    mike

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    and to some in the games industry there is a strong difference between illustrators and concept artists...illustrators are thought of as "those who make pretty pictures" and dont know the intricasies of video game production art. (though in my mind concept artists who are not illustrators and only focused on production design...oh i can think of a famous one or two right this second...are those who cant do jack with narrative, storytelling, idea composition/communication etc...).

    The games industry calls the job title "concept artist". Film calls it "concept designer". The jobs in film are different in many subtle ways than that of games. For example...in games, a great concept artist is aware of poly counts and poly use and will incorporate these working ideas into their artworks...in film there is no limitation...so what is great in film isnt necessarily great for games....there is a long list there...in my mind, it is actually easier for a games concept artist to move over to the film side than vice versa...though much of the production methods are similar.

    funny...illustrators always getting the bad rap!!...though they should never...I love illustration.
    Last edited by Jason Manley; March 28th, 2006 at 01:37 AM.

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    reminds me of a Brad Holland piece he did -
    It listed all these artist
    graphic artist, tattoo artist, performance artist, escape artist, bullshit artist,
    etc., etc., and it ended with - everyone's an artist except illustrators.
    ? >
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley
    and to some in the games industry there is a strong difference between illustrators and concept artists...illustrators are thought of as "those who make pretty pictures" and dont know the intricasies of video game production art. (though in my mind concept artists who are not illustrators and only focused on production design...oh i can think of a famous one or two right this second...are those who cant do jack with narrative, storytelling, idea composition/communication etc...).

    The games industry calls the job title "concept artist". Film calls it "concept designer". The jobs in film are different in many subtle ways than that of games. For example...in games, a great concept artist is aware of poly counts and poly use and will incorporate these working ideas into their artworks...in film there is no limitation...so what is great in film isnt necessarily great for games....there is a long list there...in my mind, it is actually easier for a games concept artist to move over to the film side than vice versa...though much of the production methods are similar.

    funny...illustrators always getting the bad rap!!...though they should never...I love illustration.
    so the ideal all fielder concept artist has the ability to create good concepts for film and games with each their own mindset, and to be able to create awsome illustrations. such people must be very rare

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    Quote Originally Posted by loomer
    reminds me of a Brad Holland piece he did -
    It listed all these artist
    graphic artist, tattoo artist, performance artist, escape artist, bullshit artist,
    etc., etc., and it ended with - everyone's an artist except illustrators.
    ? >

    he he, I saw that too, it's great.
    because even if your shopping for clothes they call it an art, but when they see an illustration they say it isn't art it's illustration, ("They" being the ones that probably don't know how to even hold a pencil, but still feel they need to asert their point of view on the art community because they really have nothing to show for themselves)

    reminds me of this time I had to do a movie review for Uni, I got the ticket and went to this little event. when I arrived there, pompas people were standing around smoking sigarettes through long filters sipping champaine and laughing in very fake ways, they wore ugly pintrip pants, mis matched shoes. They wore french hats and I'm sure I saw one holding a little lap dog. I froze in the entrance way, turned around and walked off and through my ticket in the bin.
    I hate those snooty "art" people

    I recieved zero for the blank page I handed in for my essay. I argued that my name and date is worth at least 1 mark.

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    i certainly didn't mean to "bad rap" illustration, it being 25% to 30% of my career workload over a few decades. i always think of "artist" as implied in "illustrator," it goes without saying, or should imo.

    seems the different "job titles" have a great deal in common regarding necessary artistic and interpretive skills, and level of craftsmanship, so what it may come down to is the specific nature of the assigned tasks, and, as Jason said, which industry you happen to be working in.
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    Good topic.


    Apologies if this is a crap question... but im wondering...


    So how does a production designer differ from a concept artist conceptual illustrator?

    I know marc taro has on his site "production design for games"

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    marc taro knows production design for games....he is also one hell of an illustrator....and one of the best art directors working in the industry because he knows how to make games and he can paint pretty pictures. he can call himself a power ranger if he wants.


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    marc taro knows production design for games....he is also one hell of an illustrator....and one of the best art directors working in the industry because he knows how to make games and he can paint pretty pictures. he can call himself a power ranger if he wants.
    cheers for the reply jason.


    I agree. I really enjoy looking at his work ever since nwn and finding his website through CA about a year and a half ago.

    It was just interesting how he had production design on his title page, as opposed to concept artist etc etc.

    So I assume that production design for games is different than production design for film/cinema and theatre - but I guess that they all share some common factors aswell?

    Jason, would you mind quickly explaining what production design for games encompasses? If not, is there somewhere that you can point me in the right direction to learn/start from? I honestly dont mind doing the research work - I had been looking at the Rotovision book on production design as a starting point and the book on costume aswell - I kinda just need a starting point.

    regards

    gavin

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    I'm changing my job title to "illustration artist"
    "Change is a virtue my friend... if you want to escape, all you have to do is make up your mind."
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    The root of Illustration is to illuminate, to shed light on.

    I started school in Fine Art and ended in Illustration. The people who could draw were the illustrators. I have always been attracted to those who could draw and to those who could imagine and storytell, hense being here now.

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    I like what Jason said about games and film. I have been in films and have not had much experience with poly counts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EVIL
    so the ideal all fielder concept artist has the ability to create good concepts for film and games with each their own mindset, and to be able to create awsome illustrations. such people must be very rare
    Well, Feng Zhu springs to mind (http://www.fengzhudesign.com). He's done most of his work in videogames, but he did a stint with Lucas Film working on Ep III too (studied industrial design). As far as talented movie concept artists, a lot of the truly famous ones (James Clyne, Scott Robertson, Neville Page, Syd Mead, Ryan Church) studied industrial design or transportation design and have done a lot of real-world product design over the course of their careers as well as concept design for works of fiction.

    You've got to remember that Concept Design goes beyond just movies and videogames too. There are also simulator rides (like Star Tours) and other amusement park attractions -- Feng Zhu did some work for a Stargate themed simulator attraction. Transportation designers do a lot of concept design (the proverbial "Concept Car"), but automakers sometimes invite designers from other fields to try their hand at it too -- particularly Japanese automakers. Marketing companies sometimes call on concept designers when they want to produce a "futuristic" commercial (think of those inane Transitions Lens commercials with the futuristic cityscapes, or perhaps more happily, those Scion commercials with futuristic cityscapes). And then there's just industrial design in general which is basically all concept design -- the only difference being that you intend to make the concepts into real products and not just fictional ones. It all flexes the same muscles, just in different ways. And knowing how real products are made could certainly help one make more convincing fictional ones.

    I don't think the designers who can wear more than one hat are really that rare. Being able to approach different problems from different angles is part of the definition of a good designer. I have a drawing instructor whose career has included working on the XB-70 experimental hypersonic jet project, designing voltage meters, sneakers, dirt bike handlebar covers, commercial coffee pots, removable storage media, medical equipment for use in operating rooms, arcade games for Midway and playstation games for various studios (in addition to the occasional teaching gig). And that's the really really short version of all he's done, both as an employee for other companies and while working as a freelance consultant.

    I hope my career includes half as many different types of projects as his has.
    Last edited by MEP; March 29th, 2006 at 02:48 AM.
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    It gets even more confusing when you bounce over to the ad biz.

    Designers problem-solved, and at the top were the Conceptual Designers, who were so all-encompassing in approach that they could actually initiate a project to a client, like an agency. The three best I ever met were totally incapable of drawing a stick figure, but were truly artists in the classic sense, just without the hand skills, if you can get your mind around that concept!

    Layout artists were true drawers, but never actually did any finished art by the definition used here. They were more like storyboard artists, but also had to know how to accurately indicate type fonts and body copy accurately, and how to depict an illustration that wasn't actually done yet and not have it confused with an indication of a photograph.

    Illustrators drew/painted/constructed. Period. How successful they were was dependent on how good they were at interpreting a client/art director's guidance, and how well they could adapt written concepts to pure visual concepts.

    There was a grouping that took place in the sixties that became known as Design Illustrators. They were either designers or extremely well-grounded illustrators that approached a design solution from the "decorative" angle, where the entire idea was actually based on illustrative techniques. Some of these guys are absolutely incredible and are some of the most famous of the 60-70s ad artists/designers (Push Pin Studios and Schwast come to mind).

    Art directors acted as control management, basically keeping the individual specialists on track. Some were artists, some were design oriented, some were totally incompetent fucks whose daddy owned the agency.
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    All this confusion over titles reminds me of when I worked at an internet startup. I think I had 16 diffferent titles (including VP of Systems Development... whatever the hell that meant) in a four year period, depending on who I was talking to and what context I was in. I had four different business cards, all with the same contact and company info on them, but with different titles depending on whether it was being handed out to a vendor, a client, an investor or a company/person who would potentially work with us on a project.

    Really, whether someone is called an artist or a designer or an illustrator at their particular studio or company depends a lot on the internal culture at that company, and to a certain degree, what industry their working in (though that's not as consistent as it used to be in any industry anymore). Don't get too caught up over titles unless your business card reads "Junior Intern" or something.
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    Wink production designer vs art director vs illustrator etc

    May be I can help:
    As far as feature film is concerned,

    Together with the director and the Director of photography, the PD develops the overall "look" of a movie.

    The Production Designer is the head of the art department. He is in charge of and responsible for initiating ideas for visual concepts, excecution, budget, schedule etc of a project.

    The Art Director, is actually the older title. Today, art directors facilitate the design excecution for/with the designer. They are more the organisational, "make it happen" branch of the art department.

    In order to be credited Production Designer, the producers have to ask for the permission of the art direectors guild to give the title to the respective person, otherwise it'll be art director.

    More Info:
    http://www.artdirectors.org/


    Concept Designer are usually hired during development of a project.
    Concept Artist is just a different emphasis for the same. This one's a bit difficult and may just be in semantic limbo.

    Concept Illustrators are Production Illustrators that have the understanding or training of deeper problem solving, beyond pretty pictures, that do not need to be pushed along constantly and can come up with broader ideas.

    Production Illustrators is the basic title for someone doing art department illustrations, key frames, set illustrations.

    These credits do depend on designer and producer, as well studio.

    This is a very rough, personal explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Yeah, 'cause we all know that illustrators aren't artists.
    Hey, whats up with that Tristan? I've heard that before... theres this lady that works at my job who's husband is a "representational" artists and she made a comment once like that... "Illustrators arent artists". After she said it she realize what she said and started to backtrack... Like her representational artist husband is??? Oh, man dont get me started on that shit... When I saw his work I was like.. "WTF" I can do this shit... draw some shitty looking buildings and say its brooklyn in the summertime! Oh, man.. that comment really strikes a nerve.
    Mainloop- man i must be dyslexic.. cuz i thought you asked how many people are on lsd

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    I prefer to just be refered to as a drawer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Man
    I prefer to just be refered to as a drawer.
    Like the one that holds your socks???
    Mainloop- man i must be dyslexic.. cuz i thought you asked how many people are on lsd

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    Quote Originally Posted by vigostar
    Like the one that holds your socks???
    Correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeTores
    So there's no real reason for the differentiation between the two on movie or game credits?
    You can still classify someone as a Concept artist if they do initial concepts out of clay. I'm doubting there is a specific term for that aside from "concept artist"

    As for drawing on paper, i believe they mean the same thing, just illustrator signifies more specifically what role the artist took. I believe in a massive production you have more then one or two people doing this job, so you would probably give them more idividual tasks and titles.

    I could be wrong though. Just what comes to sense logically.


    edit: ahh, i should have read the replies first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Yeah, 'cause we all know that illustrators aren't artists.
    (Not directed at you, masque, just sayin'...)

    after years of seeing wonderful illos here and there and with better understanding of what an illustrator do, I've arrived to the conclusion that illustrators are the true and real heirs of renaissance painters: as everyone knows, before modern age painters worked mainly for nobles or clerical commissioners with brief and directions like today illustrators...
    The greatest pictorial value lies in all the things the camera cannot do.

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    wait are you saying that if i want to be a concept illustrators or an illustrator i have to be an artist too. i dont wana be an artist they are all wierd
    never updated sketchbook

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