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To become a Concept Artist

CONCEPT ARTIST:
FROM IDEA TO IMAGE

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Daniel Joustra, concept-artiste pour le jeu vidéo
© Daniel Joustra, concept-artiste pour le jeu vidéo

BEHIND THE SOMEWHAT HERMETIC TERM CONCEPT ARTIST LIES A PROFESSIONAL WHO BRINGS AN IDEA TO LIFE THROUGH A VISUAL CREATION, SO THAT IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.


Imagination, artistic sense, precision, persistence and professionalism are required.

Concept Artists are in great demand by animation and video game studios.

 

THE CONCEPT ARTIST'S MISSIONS


Designing worlds, their visual aspects, creating for video games, cinema, board games, 2D or 3D animated films, in the form of graphic references, this is the role of the Concept Artist.
To achieve this, he creates places, characters, vehicles, creatures, objects, atmosphere, etc...

This requires a great talent for drawing, as it is necessary to work on characters as well as on objects. When interpreting ideas and the way they will be realized, the concept artist can express his / her individual creativity most clearly.
Overall, his / her position is at the crossroads between the Artistic Director and the Game Designer.
The Concept Artist puts into images the Artistic Director's and the Project Manager's guidelines. He / she is somewhat of a shadow worker in pre-production.

He / she has to ensure that all the technicians and artists involved in the project have the same concept.

His / her field of action varies according to his / her position in the company where he / she works.

HIS / HER KNOW-HOW, HIS / HER KNOWLEDGE


The concept artist masters academic drawing, obviously knows how to use the traditional tools of drawing (paper, pencil, paint...) but he / she increasingly uses digital tools and must therefore master the software related to his / her profession.

Of course, few concept artists still work in the "old-fashioned" way, even if it is always essential.
His / her artistic sense is very important, essential. He / she must be productive, work quickly, efficiently, display good visualization in space and finally have a good artistic culture as well as a sharp visual memory.

Being a Concept Artist also means to be able to reconsider one's choice because, for example, of a discrepancy in relation to the initial requirements or because of a technical adjustment. Speaking English correctly is a quality that is more than appreciated in this field if you want to work on international productions.

 

This profession presents the advantage of being accessible in many different ways.

Usually, training courses to become a Concept Artist are provided by institutions such as graphic design schools, art schools, video game schools like ETPA (Montpellier, Toulouse, Rennes) or ESMA (Montpellier, Toulouse, Nantes, Lyon and Montreal).

CAREERS, SALARIES AND OPPORTUNITIES


Concept Artists are in great demand by animation and video game studios. A solid and convincing art book is a significant asset.
It is also possible to work as a freelancer, and thus realise projects for different clients. This implies mastering many different fields.

ANNUAL SALARY: BETWEEN €25,000 AND €35,000.


Finally, he / she can consider moving on to other jobs in the creative fields such as illustration, character design etc.

As his / her career evolves, the Concept Artist, depending on his / her ambitions and previous experience, will be able to assume positions such as Lead Concept Artist, Artistic Director or Creative Director of video games.