Concept art is one of the most creative and highly paying careers for artists who are looking for art designing jobs in video games, movies, and other sorts of digital entertainment production.
Freelance opportunities in this field are more today, than it was a decade ago. This is due to the increasing numbers of behind the scenes DVD features, movies and game art books.
There’s also a growing demand for quality video games and digitalised entertainment, so it’s obvious there’s a consistent need for talent, even though concept art job is competitive. You may wonder how you can get in to this profession and make a career as a professional concept artist.
Below we have slewed resources, effective guidelines and tips to become a professional concept artist. Whether you are going freelance or not, the information will surely benefit you in many ways.
Practicing Concept Art
You CANNOT be an artist in a blink of an eye. No one can. Your best bet should be studying the fundamentals and making your basics strong. Form, value, lighting, perspectives are few such areas that are covered in the fundamental studies of concept art.
Work around you. Start with simple drawing and eventually move onto painting. Get inspiration from things you see day to day. It could be an apple on your plate to a willow tree in your back yard.
You have to exercise life drawing, and the best way to practice art is ‘Seeing & Recreating’ and ‘Seeing & Measuring’.
As a freelancer, to hone your skills, you need to start by drawing real objects in front of you. Art is all about running your imagination wild and far, beyond reality. However, that’s not possible in the very beginning. So, once you master drawing what is in front of you, you will eventually learn to do it from your head.
After that, drawing characters, environments, vehicles, food, fruits etc. will be as smooth as butter. But all of this establishes only when you master your basics first.
Studying Concept Art (Where and What)
Two important questions answers of which you need to figure out sooner: What to study and where to study concept art. Google has too many beginner books and options for studying art lessons online. But how would you know what’s best for you?
- We have an awesome online site, DRAWABOX that helps any beginner to major the art of drawing. The web tutor is more of an exercise and less of an instruction based platform. It is completely free and covers subjects totally curated by professional artists.
- If you are looking for a video course for concept art, then there’s nothing better than Proko, specially designed for understanding figure drawings. Don’t get hassled by its oddness; Proko, in fact teaches all the fundamentals of life drawing and drawing imaginary shapes. Proko is the most straightforward, simple and easy learning course for new freelance artists.
- And as for books, if you want to learn the fundamentals of concept art from a hard cover, buy Scott Robertson’s How to Draw.
Most people are not comfortable in self-teaching. However, you cannot rely on a tutor for long. Getting started is the first step; post that you have to be your own teacher.
You can also join a local art school. Research on their focus areas before signing up; they should be providing teachings on perspective drawing, life drawing, digital painting, human anatomy, lighting and other deep subjects.
If you want to further enhance your skills, join an animation course. An all-inclusive animation course covers all subjects, from art fundamentals to 2D art concept, digital painting, graphics, animation to 3D rigging. This is a choice you can make if you are willing to spend heftily.
However, the only thing that matters today is if you find something that works best for you, stick to it and expand your skills in that area. Make it a routine because you cannot accidentally become a concept artist.
Tools and Equipment for Beginners
Okay, this is a tricky part because digital media plays a huge role in here. Although, you will be tempted to use those interesting software and computer accessories, careerlancer asks you to stay away from them.
It is okay to delve into digital, but drawing using traditional tools is more important and effective.
All you would require is printer paper, pencil, eraser and sharpener. It is good to grab a box of pencils with different thickness. Buy few sketch books online or from any stationery shop. That’s all.
But if you wanna go digital, you won’t need anything except for a drawing tablet for beginners. Alternatively, you can use Photoshop or similar painting software.
Beyond these two options, we don’t have much to share. However, if you want to be a professional concept artist, then switching to digital (choose graphic drawing tablet for concept art) should be your best bet.
What Next? Promote Your Skills
Once you have mastered concept art of drawing and painting, you should start making plans on getting your work in front of people, and fetch clients.
You will first need to create a portfolio of your work. For concept art portfolio creation, you have to keep two things in mind: Focus and Uniqueness
Your focus should be niche specific. For instance, if you want to be an environmental concept artist, your portfolio should primarily focus on environmental art. It doesn’t end here. You should further diversify your skills in environment work to make each piece of art unique, which shows off your skills.
If you have never painted, designed or sketched before, getting started will not make any sense initially. Look through Galleries featuring art from different professionals for inspiration.
Tips to become a Pro:
- If you are serious, start today and now and draw everyday.
- Swing in at least 1-2 hours in the beginning and later increase to 4- 6 hours a day.
- Put effort. Don’t laze around. Don’t get disheartened if your nose looks like a tart and vice-versa. Cut down distraction. Practice art as you practice meditation. There’s no difference.
- Make this a daily habit. Start with 30 minutes and increase as you build art with your fingers.
- Use Proko, Drawabox, Pencil Kings, CG Spectrum, Chris OatleyArtCast(YouTube), FZD School YouTube channel for ideas and motivation.