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Job Opportunities for Concept Artists

Updated on December 21, 2017

Concept artists are having a grand time this century. Their industry of visual representation is highly fascinating and remarkably lucrative, so much so that career job opportunities abound for students of concept art and for those who aspire to make a career out of it, especially in the more recent video game design and production business.

As a concept artist looking for a job, there are various niches to choose from, each covering different styles, techniques and areas within the film, animation, comics, and video game art and development processes, before being made into a final product.

The major goal a concept artist needs to achieve is the ability to (through illustration) communicate a visual representation of an idea, design, or creative mood for use in any of the final commodities within the various niches.

The workload is always enjoyable and the good income that comes with it makes it a dream "must have" job for creative art students and art and design enthusiasts.

Some form of sketches produced by Concept Artists
Some form of sketches produced by Concept Artists

Study to Become a Concept Artist

Firstly, to be highly successful and attain a high-income level in this career, it is a good idea to get an education in the field of game art and design.

Concept Artists Job in the Game Art & Design Industry
Concept Artists Job in the Game Art & Design Industry

It can be attained on campus or as an on-line study program.

A concept artist job in the game design industry primarily involves creating and designing characters, forms, structures, virtual worlds, etc.., found within video games.

Designs must fit and conform to themes of the game and colours must be considered and utilized to form a balanced scheme throughout the design of the video game.

Skills Required

To achieve great success in the game art industry you must possess:

  • The skills that are required of a professional illustrator of human character and animal forms
  • Highly proficient life sketches and drawing abilities
  • Very good observation skills
  • A good grasp of anatomy proportion and skeletal structures that are always required in life drawings

The Importance of Life Drawings' Skills in Game Art and Design

The rules of construction and posture that is learned must be applied at all times. Life drawings have to come across perfectly in all creative works produced by a video game designer.

In game art and design, creations and designs of the environment for the games, including buildings, plants, water, lush landscapes, any weather condition, speeding race cars or moving automobiles, etc.., must be created to seem:

  1. Real and alive
  2. Believable
  3. Captivating
  4. Impressive

This is the area where possessing good observational skills comes to play when seeking concept artists jobs.

15 Concept Artist Job Opportunities

As a concept artist, you’ll find that you are an essential part of a creative and production process and can be a valuable asset at companies in the industry, big and small.

If you are software savvy, you will have more opportunities than many others because of the demand for more detailed visuals, images and backgrounds continue to increase.

Also, artists that have developed a “mastery of artistic techniques and skills” usually have the best job prospects.

However, job opportunities are vast, and a concept artist can always carve out a niche for him or herself in any of the following categories.

  1. Animation
  2. Comic books illustrators
  3. Visual and special effects designer
  4. Illustrators
  5. Gaming industry
  6. Integrated advertising
  7. Game art and design
  8. 2D concept artists
  9. Graphic designer
  10. 3D character artist
  11. Character designer
  12. Digital artist
  13. Digital Painter
  14. Environment concept artist
  15. Calligraphy

Video Games Designer - Start a Career

If you have a passion for creative arts and wish to pursue a high paying concept art career that is interesting and fun to do, you may consider seeking a course study which encompasses all aspects of concept art before deciding on a specialized niche.

There are also many good art colleges that teach many different aspects of concept art.

Course curriculum in any of these colleges which can be attended on campus or at a distance learning college include:

  • Life drawing
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Animation
  • Illustration
  • Calligraphy
  • Technical drawing

A study of the above courses will help students seeking a career in the field, find an overall understanding of forms of art & design, and students will subsequently have the ability to work successfully as concept artists.

Advice for Aspiring Concept Artists

  1. Drawing constantly and persistently is necessary for success in the game art and design industry, and indeed the concept art industry; so it’s good to form a habit of constantly drawing, doodling or sketching.
  2. Never copy the creative works of other artists but use their work as a guide if necessary or for inspiration.
  3. Become 'blank paper friendly'. It’s easy for artists to start off any sketch, so just ensure you get in there and sketch over and over again till you get your desired results.
  4. It is good and beneficial to you to become a critic of your own work. Concept artists must be comfortable about taking a hard look at their drawings to see what does not seem right. Change weak areas whilst improving on portions that already work within illustrations.
  5. As a video game designer, for example, focus on the planned layout and try to find and work out a composition that will make a captivating and impressive gaming environment.

In the game art and design industry, following these tips go a long way towards discovering your own personal styles and touches and ensures you have the skills to produce creations that will make the unreal seem real, enjoyable and believable.

© 2009 viryabo

Your Views Are Welcome

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    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 6 years ago

      I know what you mean John. It's a tough world out there, but with PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE, we are almost certain to attain our goals.

      You will get a job and the experience you require, but the secret path to that is "never give up".

      All the best in your endeavours John.


    • profile image

      John Whittle 6 years ago

      Getting an education is the easy the part, getting the experience to get a job is for me the hard part. With no experience there’s no job, with no job there’s no experience.

    • Monisa Ahmed profile image

      monisa 6 years ago from India

      hey,i am monisa. I do sketching as a pass-time. I really like your hub. There are many good things you have said about and i would like to give it a try!Thanks, your information about graphics were really helpful.

    • profile image

      Lisco 6 years ago

      This article is really useful, especially for those (like I) who don't know how to start in this career. Thanks for sharing it!

    • profile image

      Philstar 7 years ago

      I agree with tony. You learn more relevant skills from Gnomon workshop instructional DVD's than most colleges curriculums on offer today. (in game design or conceptual game art taht is). Interestingly a Gaming Industry Seminar I attended recently the question was put towards a panel of some the bigwigs the gaming companies how do you select your people?

      Everyone Company Director their unanimously chose people with innovative ideas or self-taught artists & programmers who have produced & distributed their own work over degree-qualified candidates. Work hard,learn you craft,think out side the square.

    • profile image

      Tony 7 years ago

      Just because someone get a degree doesn't mean they're a better artist than anyone who doesn't. It's sad that companies will often overlook real talent in favor of a piece of paper. All that game design classes teach are how to copy what's already been successful, not break any new ground. Those schools are creative black holes and money pits.

    • profile image

      Avery Neal 7 years ago

      I found this site very useful. My problem is finding a stable job in the industry.

    • profile image

      James 7 years ago

      Hey, I'm working on a senior project and the occupation I signed for is being a concept artist. I'm supposed to find a community mentor and job shadow them and i was wondering if you can suggest a few.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Hi James, I appreciate your visit and your nice comments.

      Thank you.


    • jamestomerson profile image

      jamestomerson 7 years ago from New York, USA

      Very informative article with a nice flow! Thanks for sharing this, Viryabo.



    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Arts & Crafts Fair, thanks.

      And thanks for visiting and finding time to leave a nice comment.


    • profile image

      arts and craft fairs 7 years ago

      thank you for sharing. This is very interesting. I wanna do one. Hopefully, I can make it. Thank you for this info. This really helps.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 8 years ago

      July '09 Ronnie.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 8 years ago

      Hello Helen.

      Thank you for your visit and your great suggestion. Will check out the site now. I'm sure many interested in learning game art design will find the info useful, so i will include the link in this hub.

      Thanks and Cheers.

    • profile image

      Helen 8 years ago

      Oops sorry for the double post :)

    • profile image

      Helen 8 years ago

      If you want to do a course in games concept design try this one: its the first concept design degree in the country and it teachs modelling concept design and matte painting also vehicle and aviation concepts, I am loving every minute of the course :)

    • profile image

      Helen 8 years ago

      If you want to do a course in games concept design try this one: its the first concept design degree in the country and it teachs modelling concept design and matte painting also vehicle and aviation concepts, I am loving every minute of the course :)