Any advice? I'd love to work as a Concept Artist

  • But I find myself overwhelmed with all the things I need to improve, I know I'm never gonna find a moment when I say that there is nothing left to learn but I've started this period in my life where I need to find a job now and I know I can't get in the industries quite yet because my work doesn't seem to meet the spectatives.

    My question is, how do I know where to start learning and practicing, since there is still a lot to improve? and, do you have any advice on what could I start doing now? Since I'm getting quite frustrated with the idea of not finding a job not even a bit related to what I want.

    Right now I'm not sure in which specific industry I'd love to be at, since I'm interested in making comics, illustrating books (not children's books, but more teens and young adults aimed books), and even more interested in the Concept Art area for videogames and animation.

    Here is a link to my work .

    Also I don't know if this is something necessary to mention but I live quite a bit too far from any publishing house or even design agencies which could need illustrations and I've sent portfolio through the internet but never gotten an answer.

    Thank you for reading, I'd really appreciate a lot your answers.

  • @pam I went though an exploratory stage (I'm probably still going through it) as well where I looked into lots of different avenues for my art, so I get where you are coming from- it is bewildering and difficult knowing where to even start and it takes time to explore creatively where you feel happiest. Don't get discouraged. Your illustration- especially the watercolor, looks like it might be good for magazine / editorial work to me, and I heard this is a good place to start with getting into Illustration.

    Regarding Concept art- it's an intimidating subject but looks really interesting. I bought a book a while ago when I was looking into concept art: The Big Bad World of Concept Art for Video Games: An Insider's Guide for Beginners. It has some great information. There are also channels on youtube which might be useful to give you an insight into concept art like FZD School.

  • Pro SVS OG

    I have studied concept art but never worked as concept artist (if you exclude some small animation projects and storyboarding). @natiwata here on the forum has worked as concept artist in games and maybe can give you some pointers. If you take a look at his portfolio, you can already see what you need to work on, though. Concept art portfolios are different than illustration portfolios. They contain things like asset packs, isometric views of environment and props and/or character turnarounds, expression and pose sheets. Your skills are good and if you start putting the right type of work in your portfolio you may get a step closer to raising the interest of studios.

  • Cube brush website sells a ebook dedicated to the subject. As well check out Bobby Chu's YouTube channel.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @smceccarelli is correct. The things in a concept art portfolio should be asset based as well as some bigger story telling images. You should show a strong ability to concept different designs for environments, props, vehicles, and characters. In addition, more and more studios are requiring at least a basic skillset in Maya and other 3d software programs.

    Right now you have a good basic understanding of storytelling and some nice images. But you need to look at concept art specific portfolios and see what that consists of. I would highly recommend Schoolism and CGMA because they specialize in that content.

    Dig in and work hard!

    Good Luck!

  • Hi @Pam !

    I will post links to some portfolios of great concept artists. Notice that they were successful professionals but a lot of their artwork seems very sketchy and rough, but that is the idea of concept art: you are creating a concept, the starting idea of the visual look/mood of a character, a building, a landscape, a scene. Some of them have a mixture of sketchy and more polished work, but the basic principle is that you must be able to create several ideas of a character or building in one go, like fill an entire page with ideas, thumbnails, sketches and so on. Then re-work some of the ideas and polish them. Then it is presented to the other artist in the company for him to finish the work. Like, give your concept to the 3D artist such that she/he can create the 3D model (and even modify a bit).

    Also, notice that it is a very specialized profession that exists due to the high demand in the industry to quickly create games and movies, so being capable to mass produce in a day is a must. It's not like illustration that we can dedicate 1, 2 or even 3 days to a single full piece.

    Adam Adamowicz

    Kingston Chan

    Machinarium Concept Art (Game):

    Xa-xa-xa (Wakfu game concept artist):

    Simon Kopp (concept art for the game "Ori and the blind forest"):

    That being said, here are a couple of videos of professional artists talking about their views on the Concept Art career:

    And an interesting perspective on Adam Adamowicz approach to concept art:


  • @christine-garner Thank you a lot for your answer, I'll consider getting this book since it seems to have good information, and I've looked through the YouTube channel you've sent me, it really has amazing content. Thanks a lot for the advice.

  • @smceccarelli Thank you so much, I think you are right with the areas I need to show in my portfolio, so I'll start by making some works around those pointers you are giving me, I've seen Natiwata's website and there are a lot of areas I need to work on. Thanks.

  • @diego_biosteam Hi, I'll definitely look through the resourses you've sent me, thank you very much, Marco Bucci's video has been really enlightening and made me remember a few things about the journey of making art.

  • @lee-white Thank you, Schoolism and CGMA seem to have great content, I didn't know about them so I really appreciate you shared me these websites, I still need to work a lot to get a good portfolio!

  • @rcartwright Thank you, they have a lot of resources to look through, I'll check them for sure!