UPDATED -- Questions 4 pro concept artists; aspiiring artists read this!

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  1. #1
    Phait Guest

    Exclamation UPDATED -- Questions 4 pro concept artists; aspiiring artists read this!

    :chug:
    I got a reply from Jeffrey Moy @ Raven Software, check out the URL below for his replies!

    Aspring concept artists:
    http://art.phaitaccompli.com/qa/

    This is a page that isn't finished, I hope to add more concept artist's replies to it. For now, read Mitchell Coties replies to 13 questions I sent him

    Pro concept artists:

    If you would like to answer these questions for others I'm sure we'll appreciate your time. Feel free to post right in this thread, and thanks!

    + 1. What is your definition of concept art?
    + 2. What is the most important factor in concept art?
    + 3. What is a typical day like for you as a concept artist?
    + 4. How important is it to draw from life and apply this
    to your concept work?

    + 5. In your opinion, is it best to be master of one aspect of
    concept art (i.e. characters) or jack of all trades (characters,
    vehicles, environments)? I figure it is best to be diverse, because
    despite the impressiveness and broad skill, a game developer isn't
    going to necessarily pay more money for more artists when one is
    successful with that which a few or more artists may accomplish
    individually. If one were to excel in just one area of concept
    design, is it worth it for them to apply to the industry?

    + 6. What are game developers looking for in and from a potential concept artist?
    + 7. The majority of concept art I see has a commonality in the style:
    characters with huge boots, mechs and more things I can't recall at
    this moment... basically, it's not very often that I see something
    fresh or innovative. Many game developers strive to innovate, but it
    seems things are just rehashed. What is your view on this?

    + 8. For a general piece of concept work, how long does it take you
    to complete? What are the steps you take - from beginning to finish
    on a typical concept piece?

    + 9. Along the path of improving and growing as an artist,
    what do you feel, is mandatory to learn and discover,
    for an aspiring concept artist?

    + 10. Do you find yourself learning and improving throughout your
    career as a concept artist, or do you for the most part,
    feel accomplished as an artist?

    + 11. If you get to the point where you're not happy with a piece,
    i.e. perfectionist mood - what do you do to alleviate this?

    + 12. When the game developer asks you to conceptualize something/things,
    what are some examples of deadlines?
    In what way do you work to meet or beat those deadlines?

    + 13. Anything else that I/we should know?


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  3. #2
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    Thanks for posting those interviews.

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    Thank you very much. Gives me much more respect for my someday, hopefully future field and gives me hella more respect that mcotie still has time to stop by now and again. (If that Mitchell Cotie is mcotie from forums.)

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  5. #4
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    answers...well i dont know about that..but here are some thoughts

    + 1. What is your definition of concept art? - Concept art is thinking visually...It is not just production sketches of vehicles, characters and environments...it is a way to inspire the team, communicate mood, lighting...design....and most importantly...idea....these ideas are often not your own...it is using ones artistic skills to show others ideas as well as they think of them..or better in many cases.

    Concept art also has another function... so I tend to not think of the stuff as just production art that should be hurried through...if a concept artist pushes past that, then it becomes inspirational art and will be used to promote the title it is made for. Concept art then becomes marketing materials.

    Concept art is how the team knows what everyone is supposed to be making...whether it is for film or games. It is the visual blueprint. Most of all it is visual idea development...in a way its the liason between the designer/writers and the rest of the art team...not to mention the rest of the company. People have to know what everyone is supposed to make...well thats the job...to show them in the best possible way.


    + 2. What is the most important factor in concept art?- the skills i have that could only come from painting and drawing from life on an extended and consistent basis are the most important. It all starts there for me. imagination too...i guess its a tie there. inseperable...

    + 3. What is a typical day like for you as a concept artist? go to work..talk with the team...paint..research..think..paint.....lunch...p aint...talk about the project...look for inspiration (anywhere)...play some games...learn...quite a bit of the job is learning everything that is going on out there.

    + 4. How important is it to draw from life and apply this
    to your concept work? It is the single most important thing to it....how can you make something if you dont know what stuff looks like...an artist remembers things best by drawing them...and painting them...how you put those things together is up to you...forms and light are the building blocks for visual ideas...understanding them both is key...as is anatomy..and a billion other things.

    + 5. In your opinion, is it best to be master of one aspect of
    concept art (i.e. characters) or jack of all trades (characters,
    vehicles, environments)? I figure it is best to be diverse, because
    despite the impressiveness and broad skill, a game developer isn't
    going to necessarily pay more money for more artists when one is
    successful with that which a few or more artists may accomplish
    individually. -----If one were to excel in just one area of concept
    design, is it worth it for them to apply to the industry?...no game company that i am aware of has a job called ship concept artist or the like..the conceptual art field is diverse in what needs to be done if you choose it as a career. if you are a one trick pony then what are you going to do when vehicles are all done? its either off to the beach..or off to environments.

    + 6. What are game developers looking for in and from a potential concept artist?----- creativity, skill, passion as an artist, production understanding...thus speed...and the ability to work with a team.
    + 7. The majority of concept art I see has a commonality in the style:
    characters with huge boots, mechs and more things I can't recall at
    this moment... basically, it's not very often that I see something
    fresh or innovative. Many game developers strive to innovate, but it
    seems things are just rehashed. What is your view on this? ------its a business...all the guys i know push very hard...business trends come and go...peoples needs for entertainment changes...and concept art changes along with it. in some cases i think it can lead...if there was a company left who isnt afraid to leave the sequel/license safety net. concept art has grown a lot over the past few years....digital mediums have allowed for much more to be done.

    + 8. For a general piece of concept work, how long does it take you
    to complete? twenty seconds to three days depending...right now Im doing about twenty a week or so...nothing major... What are the steps you take - from beginning to finish
    on a typical concept piece? there is a tutorial on conceptart.org if you dig...its a long process that spills out very quickly..I work very traditionally though in terms of my approach. I work all digitally.

    + 9. Along the path of improving and growing as an artist,
    what do you feel, is mandatory to learn and discover,
    for an aspiring concept artist? to learn to develop ideas past the most typical to something that is interesting..and drawing and painting from life.

    + 10. Do you find yourself learning and improving throughout your
    career as a concept artist, or do you for the most part,
    feel accomplished as an artist? I learn every day..every single day...I dont feel like ive accomplished much at all...long ways to go...

    + 11. If you get to the point where you're not happy with a piece,
    i.e. perfectionist mood - what do you do to alleviate this? I stop before i get there and work on something else...If it has to be done right now...Ill use different tools...take a break for a few minutes...do anything to get my mind off that mood so that i can paint...since its a job..sometimes you have to finish them anyways as best you can...

    + 12. When the game developer asks you to conceptualize something/things,
    what are some examples of deadlines?
    In what way do you work to meet or beat those deadlines? I I do as much as I can within my deadlines...thats how i approach it...examples...there are no typicals...hey we need this by friday...hey..I also need this by wednesday....and dont forget to get all the portraits done by friday too and that thing i needed friday..i need it at five tomorrow for the meeting.....usually there is a list of stuff that has to get cranked through...hopefully enough time is scheduled to do it right..thats my attitude.

    + 13. Anything else that I/we should know? yeah..draw and paint from life...if you are an artist who wants to do this job...bust your ass...never stop working on your skills and knowledge base.

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  6. #5
    Phait Guest
    Gracias, Jason

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  7. #6
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    Wow, good job man..how many of those interviews have you sent out?

    And Jason : Thanks a bundle for your response..verry informative =)

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  8. #7
    Phait Guest
    I sent over a dozen I believe.

    A few came back as failure deliveries - such as to Paul Steed of id, someone from Ion Storm and I forget where else.

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  9. #8
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    i'm new at this so, i don't think i can answer all these questions, but i can definitely put in 2 cents. first off, learn how to do other things unless you are godly at drawing/painting. i tried to get work just on drawings...boy was i humbled. employers told me it helps to know some 3D and texture painting. i put together some of what they wanted...and boom, i got a job...and there's already talk of a project that i'll get to draw on. so in a nutshell, do whatever it takes to get in and then roll with it.


    in response to your question about what do game developers want to see in an artist, one thing for sure: showing people you REALLY want the job can totally give you the edge over someone w/the same quality work that just hands in a demo reel and port.

    after i got out of school, i was persistent in showing my work to the developers around here(i'm stuck here for a while.) everytime i finished a new model or a new drawing or two, i immediately emailed them to leads at companies. when you do something like that, it shows that you didn't stop doing your work after school. you have the passion to do it on your own time. i REALLY think that helped me get a job. hell, one guy at a company told me they have no positions but he would offer a "mentoring" if i wanted to take modeling further.
    the point i'm trying to make: be persistent no matter what. ***don't be annoying, but be persistent. it shows you want to work.

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  10. #9
    Phait Guest
    3D is something I have considered going into. The only 3D stuff I've done would be level editing for Quake. It's very basic and primitive and not the same as 3D modeling a character, weapon or what have you. You probably knew this though.

    The problem is, it seems intimidating. I've messed around w/ some texturing, but everytime I see some awesome texturing, I wonder if I'm capable of that quality. I'm pretty good with Photoshop, I can say...

    It just comes down to confidence - something I seem to lack often.

    Thanks for your reply, good points that I will be sure to keep in mind.

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  11. #10
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    if you have any kind of 3d application that lets you manip polys effectively....there are TONS of tutorials out there. just pump away at it. stay positive, i know it's hard sometimes(i know...) but keep pumping away at it.:chug:

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