HELP!! I NEED ADVICE! (Job Opportunity)
So on Instagram I got a message from someone who’s interested in me as a concept artist for a sci-fi thing. I don’t want to say his full name because I’d need his consent but this is the message he sent me
By the way, I’m for sure this is a real person, he is friends with one of my artistic heroes
I have NO EXPERIENCE in this so PLEASE fill me in on your thoughts
His message: Hey there, I'm joe - nice to cyber meet! 👋🏼. I'm directing a sci if film and looking for an illustrator to do concept art and key framing for the script. If you give me your email I can send over the script for you to read thru and see if you're interested. If this is something you'd be interested in, let me know as well as your rates for commission. Thanks! Joe
Though I studied concept art as my major, I did not actually work as a concept artist (aside some jobs for marketing videos), so my knowledge is purely theoretical. This is what I know/recall:
- concept art takes many shapes. Character studies, vehicles, environments, etc... - mostly these are sketches or coloured sketches and you do many many iterations. It's not unusual to make hundreds of sketches for even a small production, trying out different styles, etc... On big films, there is a small team at the beginning trying to define "the look" of the film. After that, more artists will come in, each with their own specialty: characters, costumes, creatures, environments, etc...
- Also part of concept art are so called "production paintings". These are often done at the beginning by the small team I mentioned or by single artists (and maybe this is what this person refers to) and represent some putative scenes in the film. They define the feeling of the film and its visual world. They are very polished and are often used for pitching the film idea to studios. Star Wars was famously pitched with only 15 production paintings.
- When I started freelancing I looked a bit into concept art as a business and the people I spoke with (mostly advertising studios) told me that they usually pay by the day. Because there is so much art involved it seems difficult to price by piece of art, so concept artists are hired by daily wages. The rates I heard (for the UK) were between 200 and 400 GBP per day.
- There are some excellent books about concept art for film that you can refer to. Some of my favourites are "Halo" (its a game, but it's handled like a film production), Shadowline (which is a musing about the work of Ian McCaig, but contains a lot of concept art of the later Star Wars films) and "The Hobbit - Chronicles - Art and Design".
Here is also an extract from a blog that I copied and saved years ago, about a typical workflow for concept art for games (from the point of view of the game producer). It's a different beast, but it may give some ideas on how to approach this.
That's all I can contribute from my limited knowledge. I think Lee White has done some work on film, so it may be worth asking him!
"1.You come up with a list of the all the different assets you want and a moodboard of similar graphics that you like
2 The artist agrees that they can do that number of assets for the price and comes back with their own development and suggestions for additional moodboard graphics
- You choose 2 or 3 graphics from the combined moodboards to be the style that you want to go in.
- The artist creates around 3 different variations of a single graphic in different styles for you to choose from.
- You choose a style from one of the 3
- The artist then draws up around a third of the assets that you need.
- You put them into the game and see how it goes. You feedback any changes that may need to be made based on this.
- The artist may amend the assets completed so far and then completes the rest of the assets and delivers them
- You put them all into the game and show it to the artist. Together you agree on any further small graphical tweaks that need doing."
@smceccarelli Thank you!! This is very helpful!
I hate to say it ben, but you should pass on this job. Not knowing anything about being a concept artist and then trying to be a concept Artist is a recipe for disaster. It takes a massive amount of training to do this well, even at an entry level position. I think you are over your head in this one and the smart move might be to admit that to the person who sent you the email. Then offer to do some intern work on the production as needed so you can gain that valuable experience.
@lee-white thank you so much Lee! I agree with you I think it’s the best move.
I just have to say that if this guy takes time in his (I imagine) busy schedule, he saw something on your works that he like. And I´m pretty sure that he knows that you are new on this, so he is taking the risk just to know you and work and grow with you.
@allnightdesign Thank you! I'd like to think I feel the same. I took @Lee-White's advice and said I wasn't as experienced, but would love the oportunity to do some intern work. He said he'll talk with me tomorrow, but I hope I'll still have a chance to gain some experience and also contribute as an intern artist.
@ben-migliore Cool!!! you have a great chance there! go fot it! :)