Skip to Content

About: Eliott Lilly

Recent Posts by Eliott Lilly

Does Double Majoring Help Me with Concept Art?

Eliott advises on the importance of focusing towards one goal vs. becoming a jack of all trades.

Q My name is Kyra and I’m  an 18 year old freshman in college studying art and something else; I intend to double major, and my dilemma is thus: Art and Theatre vs. Art and Mathematics. My father says having a mathematics degree along with an art degree will make me more attractive to employers, because it shows versatility and the potential to learn programming languages with greater ease later on; and I suspect that he’s right. My heart, however, is really in theater; performing, screenwriting, and costuming. Which second major should I choose?

A Neither. My main feedback to you is this: you can’t do it all.  To be ANY sort of professional artist requires you to be the BEST artist you can be because the competition is so high. There will be dozens of art students in your class, but only a handful will land a job as an artist, let alone have a career as such. Longevity in this field requires commitment, focus and dedication. It’s also worth mentioning that to be a GREAT artist, requires one to sacrifice even more (This can be your free time, personal relationships, socializing with friends, etc). Regardless of the type of artist you want to be, If you ever want to get paid for your talents, then you will need to put in the work now.

Let me put that into perspective for you. From a very young age I have always wanted to be an artist (and only an artist) so it’s all I’ve ever studied for. 17 years or so of art training later (elementary to graduate school) and I’m working in the field of my dreams, doing what I love doing.  My other classmates however haven’t been so lucky because they either started learning about art too late in life, or didn’t take it seriously enough. Either way, their art training has left them ill-equipped to compete on a professional level.

Therefore, double majoring, in my humble opinion may seem like a good safety net, but may actually hinder your artistic growth because it divides your focus. It also means you will have twice the workload, but only half as much time to do it in.  (There’s a whole section in my book that covers what you should be learning in college and how).  Ultimately, my concern is that double majoring may result in you being a mediocre artist and/or a mediocre actor (when you could  have been superb at either one). I suggest you choose wisely.

Q I want to be a concept artist (specifically creatures and costume character designs, though I’m well aware a concept artist has to be more versatile than that), and I intend graduate school to get a masters in either sequential drawing or illustration. I’m equally capable in the performing arts and mathematics, though I greatly prefer the former. Which is the wisest degree combination for an aspiring Concept Artist? Art and Math, or Art and Theater? Or, assuming I’m any good at this by the end, do I need to be concerned with that at all?

A I honestly don’t know because every professional artist that I know (both concept or commercial) ONLY has an art degree.  I have not heard of anyone holding a split degree.  I HAVE, however heard of students who studied a specific major in school, graduated and realized they hated it, (or just loved art more) and decided to abandon that skill set and go back to school for art instead. That’s kind of like a double major… right?  (As a cautionary tale I’ve also heard the reverse of this: where a student studies art, can’t find  job, inherits huge debt, now works at Starbucks….)

At the end of the day you need to understand that whether you decide to be an artist, an actor, or a programmer, you are up against incredible odds. Within each of those industries the competition is high, and job availability is low. The chances of you succeeding (finding full time employment) are exceptionally slim. The best advice I can offer (all cheesiness aside): DO FOLLOW YOUR HEART. Make the most of your college experience, soak everything up like a sponge and apply yourself in one area of expertise.  If you wake up and decide that you are an actor, then make that your ONLY major, and crush it!  Keep art as a hobby.


Want to help us grow our resources section? If a resource has helped you greatly please e-mail it to me or any suggestions 
to: me@eliottlillyart.com. I will be keeping this list updated as I discover new entries. Thank you--
0

I Just Graduated With No Concept Art Portfolio, Now What?

Elliot discusses what to do when you don’t have a portfolio ready for the concept art industry.

Q My name is Ashley and I recently graduated from the University of South Carolina (not an art school).  In my last semester I realized that I had a passion to do concept art, but that there was nothing in my portfolio to show my interest. I am concerned that this puts me at a disadvantage to other job applicants who have an art school background. Does this matter in the industry? Does this mean I simply have to work and fight harder to stand out? Also, although it is geared towards the video game industry, could the advice given in your book: The Big Bad World Of Concept Art; An Insider’s Guide For Students  also be applied to the animation/movie industry as well?


A Your situation is very similar to my own experience in college, so I know what you are going through. Yes, you are definitely at a disadvantage if you want to be a concept artist, but not because you do not hold an art degree, rather because:

  • You might not have developed the appropriate foundation skills to be a competitive artists at SCU
  • Your teachers are not working professional concept artists who can give you industry tips and tricks
  • You currently do not have a concept art portfolio that demonstrates your desired career choice
  • Your school has no networking opportunities for the entertainment industries

 

If you seriously want to be a concept artist, you will almost assuredly need further training from an outside source. My solution was to go back to school for another two years to really refine my skill set and portfolio.  I would suggest you do the same.  Attend a concept art focused school or at least attend some online classes. Check out the resources page on the website for our highly recommended choices. Also: I wrote an article on my blog a while back called Am I in the wrong school?” It offers three really good actionable options that might offer additional solutions to solving your dilemma.

It’s also worth mentioning that you will need to work hard just to be “up to par” with other budding artists looking to get into the industry. THEN you will need to work extra hard to stand out. In fact, EVERY ARTIST (pro and student) has to work hard to stand out in this industry. – That’s a lifetime effort.

Lastly, YES, the advice given in The Big Bad World Of Concept Art; An Insider’s Guide For Students  also applies to other professional industries. Since getting a job in any entertainment industry is about the same, you can take what you’ve learned in my book and apply it to that specific area.


Want to help us grow our resources section? If a resource has helped you greatly please e-mail it to me or any suggestions 
to: me@eliottlillyart.com. I will be keeping this list updated as I discover new entries. Thank you--

 

1

How Can a Self Taught Artist Break Into the Industry?

 

Eliott discusses what it takes to getting your foot in the door as a self-taught concept artist.

Q My name is Carl and I’m a senior illustration major at a loss for how to get a foot in the door. I am not sure how to start taking the next step into the field, and I have no experience networking. I would like to continue pursuing a professional education (ideally in a trade school as you said), but I don’t think I can make that happen financially right now. I’ve been exploring my other options – largely online courses from independent artists like Chris Oatley or CubeBrush.  Would you say this route is viable in your personal opinion, or at the very least a good practice to use in the meantime while saving up for a more advanced education?  Do you also think it’s possible to catch up with those who have been working towards this for much longer?


A The short answer is: Until you have mastered your craft and your artwork is on the same quality as professionals, you will have a hard time “getting your foot in the door.” Your competition are professionals currently working in the industry (not your peers in school). So, what do you do? I wrote an article on CGChannel.com, discussing some of this, and it might be a good read for you. Check out: 10-questions-to-ask-before-you-apply-for-your-first-art-job/

And, yes, get your education however you can and soak it all up. There are tons of free resources you can start with (see the resources page) and paid ones that will take you even further. These will hold you over for a while, but at some point you will likely need more structure and direct guidance.

At that time, it’s worth reevaluating your finances to see what’s possible. If going to a trade school is still out of the picture, then consider mentorships where you can get direct feedback on your work from working professionals.

If that is still unobtainable, then you can always join forums, and art groups on social media that specialize in feedback and critiques. That will at least get you some feedback, but always take it with a grain of salt, since you don’t know who’s offering it (Is it a professional or a student? – there’s a big difference there).
Playing “Catch up” is a dangerous game that if you aren’t careful, will lead you down a dark hole since there will always be artists better (and worse) than you.  Change your thinking to: “Will my work ever be good enough to support me as a professional artists?”…  The answer’s usually is: “With enough time and patience, yes.” But, the caveat here is that you need to HONESTLY determine if being a concept artist will still be worth it to you if it takes 10 years to get there. If the answer is “No”, then you should probably find another career and keep art as a hobby.
If I were you, I’d  consider writing to self taught concept artists to ask their opinion on this subject. Dan Luvisi and Darek Zabrocki are two super talented artists that I can think of – do some research and find others.
Remember: as long as you are learning, (even if it’s on your own) then you are heading in the right direction. There are no guarantees in art nor is there an easy button – To get better takes time and determination. Seriously. If you prioritize being a professional artist above all else, then it might happen sooner for you. If, however life gets in the way, then it might take longer for you to get where you want to be

Best of luck


Want to help us grow our resources section? If a resource has helped you greatly please e-mail it to me or any suggestions 
to: me@eliottlillyart.com. I will be keeping this list updated as I discover new entries. Thank you--
3

How Do I learn About Concept Art in the UK?

Eliott offers advice for concept art education in a competitive industry and how to prepare for it.

Q I am Charlie, a first year student currently studying BA Games Art and Design – Norwich University of the Arts in the UK. The program however is rather slow pace and focuses little on concept art. The UK is not known for its concept art courses, unless there are courses I’m missing. I could go abroad but going abroad would also present problems. Starting a four year degree seems almost overkill, and being 21 I need to ideally get my life along a bit faster. The big questions are: would a four year degree still be worth it now? Or do I try to find an industry related course in the UK.


A You are correct: Any advice offered would depend on where you are in your artistic development, and where you want to go with your career. So, in that regard, I would need to know more about you, and see some of your work to properly advise you (feel free to send).

In general, however I can tell you that if you have zero traditional art background, then you will likely need at least 5- 10 years of intensive art training to be “good enough” to compete as a professional artist. How did I get to that number?

  • 2-4 years of training at an all art college (or program) to develop your foundation skills (nothing fancy, just the basics of perspective, anatomy, color, light, etc).
  • 1 year to learn a specific skill set, (like a Photoshop, or a 3D modeling program)
  • 2 – 3 years to refine, polish and  strengthen your techniques while developing your artistic voice.

 

Once you have all of that under your belt, you will be better positioned to be competitive in this industry.  If that amount of time seems too long, then there are ways to shorten it a bit, but you wills till have to put in the effort and time. You can shave a bit of time in your artistic development by:

  • attending an intensive 2 year concept art program at places like FZD, Brainstrom, and other such schools. (these aren’t guaranteed to get you industry ready but will get you closer than a traditional art college since they focus on and specialize in concept art).
  • learn multiple things at once (GIVE UP YOUR SOCIAL LIFE to spend every waking minute intensively focused on art)
  • Continue to supplement your proper education with constant online tutorials, and training.

 

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts with art – you just have to grind your way through it. If you read all of that and your gut feeling was: “Yikes, I don’t have 10 years” then, maybe keep art as a hobby, and pursue something else in the UK. If your gut reaction was: “Yikes, 10 years is a lot, but I can do it sooner!…” then I say PUSH ON. It’s really all about you as a person, your mental determent, what resources are available to you, and what you prioritize in life.

I came across another student who had similar issues as you and wrote about him on my blog. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you read this article, as his options might help inform your decision making in the future,:

http://bigbadworldofconceptart.com/user-questions/am-i-in-the-wrong-school/

Best of luck.


Want to help us grow our resources section? If a resource has helped you greatly please e-mail it to me or any suggestions 
to: me@eliottlillyart.com. I will be keeping this list updated as I discover new entries. Thank you--
0

Can You Land a Job Without Much Experience?

Q Benjamin asked a question concerning getting that first job. Can you rely primarily on a really nice portfolio and a degree, while having a sparse resume? Are internships prevalent in the field of the concept artist?


A That first job can be tricky. A sparse resume indicates a lack of experience, which some studios will require in order in order to be an eligible candidate (they usually require 2 – 3 years minimum). So you may be asking yourself: “well, how do I get that experience if they aren’t willing to hire me?” And that’s the rub.

To answer your question: While it is possible to land those jobs without experience, your portfolio would need to be AMAZING in order for a studio to take a gamble on you.  The degree is less important. I would suggest beefing up your resume by taking on smaller side gigs for legitimate clients. They may not pay very well, but they will show you can work as a professional.

Personally, while still in college, I searched job boards and forums for people in need of art. I got my first job illustrating a cover of someone’s print-on-demand book (which was new technology back then), and a few other small jobs designing logos and other crap. This went on for several months, until I had enough “experience” to land a job with a bigger client making TV pitch ads (none of these were concept art – more so illustration, but it got me the professional working experience I needed). By the time I graduated and it was time to find employment at a video game studio, I already had 2 years of professional art experience. I used that point, along with my solid portfolio, to win over my first video game studio.

A To answer your other question: While I have heard about concept art internships, they are usually few and far between. Be on the lookout for them, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Of the many concept art peers I have worked  with over the years, only one had an internship first, before begin hired full time.


Want to help us grow our resources section? If a resource has helped you greatly please e-mail it to me or any suggestions 
to: me@eliottlillyart.com. I will be keeping this list updated as I discover new entries. Thank you--
0

Designing Guns For Today’s Video Game Market

 BBWCA - How to Design Guns
Senior weapons concept designer Eliott Lilly answers a few important questions and explains weapon design creation for today’s video game market.
Question submitted by Wouter.
Hello Mr. Lilly.
Currently I’m merely a hobbyist firearms designer, but I’m looking into making my job of it. I recently read an article where you said to “set a specific goal for yourself”, and I didn’t need to think about it- I want to be senior weapons artist at Treyarch. The problem is, I don’t really know how to get there. All I’ve got so far is the firearms design. I know I need to learn to 3D. Build a solid portfolio. Get to know the community / industry. Practice a lot. But almost all of these are kinda vague instructions. I’m afraid I’m going to put a lot of time and effort into this and nothing will work out.
Mr. Lilly, I was wondering if you could provide some guidance for me because honestly I’ve never felt so sure and driven in my life.

 

Hey Wouter

As video games gain mainstream popularity and generate huge revenue profits, there are certain global trends to be aware of:

1.  Working for mega blockbuster games that generate huge revenue profits,(Like COD) means you have to be extra careful not to infringe on another companies Intellectual property. Gone are the days when artists could just copy a real world Colt M4 and implement it into the game without fear of lawsuits, let alone collage-ing real world parts in new ways to call it an “original gun”.  If people can still recognize that you’re using a Magpul grip as your base design, then there is a very real chance that Magpul will have a legal claim against you and the client.  As someone who’s been on the legal side of that, trust me when I tell you: it’s no fun.

I suspect that this is a large part of the reason why COD is moving into the future warfare.  Doing so relieves them from having to pay companies licensing fees.  It also allows them to own all of their content outright.

Wouter_01

2. As a result of growing lawsuits, I have noticed the trend of videogame studios hiring “specialist” artists who are passionate about weapons and know them inside and out to do the heavy design work on weapons for the game, then having the more generalist artists do the cleanup, tweaking and any fixes needed.

Companies are looking for a designer who can make something look futuristic and sci-fi, yet still grounded in reality. Construction details, materials and textures are equally as important.

Another thing companies want to see are new weapons that they’ve never seen before.  Being able to design that unique, “signature weapon” is king.  This can be achieved through the way the weapon looks, is manipulated, fires, etc.  If you can design weapons like these, and demonstrate strong design skills in your portfolio,  you will forever be employed.

 

3. Presentation of weapon ideas:

Side views are cool but the money shot is in the 3/4 front and back views.  This angle makes the gun come to life. If you want to work at a video game studio that develops first person shooters, then the “first person view” of the gun will be incredibly important. You will need to showcase this angle in your weapons portfolio as well.

Wouter_02

4. 3d software

Yes, there is a growing trend to do everything in 3d these days, but honestly, most of what I do is on paper and Photoshop.  I only tend to use 3D if the client requires a fully rendered, super sexy marketable image- in those situates being able to model, light and capture a weapon from all angels really helps.

Unfortunately, there’s no industry standard software, so chose whatever is comfortable for you.  The most common ones are 3ds Max, Maya, Modo.  But I’ve even heard of artists using Fusion and Sketchup for gun designs

5.Transitioning from hobbyist to pro:

Think bigger than Treyarch. As long as video games have violence, there will be a need for weapons and weapon artists.  Think about other studios that make games that you like and design weapons for them as well- that way you will have a portfolio with wide variety of weapons, and a depth showcasing your intricate knowledge of weapon design.  This makes you marketable to any studio.

To get an example of what your portfolio should look like, you can of course check out my website www.eliottlillyart.com to see the types of weapon designs i have on there, but I would also lookup a few other “gun guys” and see how they do, what they do.  

I hope this info helps.

-Eliott

0

How Do I Switch From Being a UI designer to Concept Artist?

Question submitted by Jonathan E. Concept art by Hector Ruiz

hector-ruiz-ruizhector-skull-temple-lowres

 

Hey eliott, I have several questions for you:

The first: How easy is it to transfer positions within a company? For instance, if I worked in UI, how “easy” is it to make a jump to concept art if I started feeling a hankering? I’ve been considering UI, as it turned out a lot of the projects I worked on required it, so I have a fairly complete porfolio built up out of the gate. I’m also hesitant about wearing out my artistic ambitions due to the stresses of the AAA world, so coming into a company from a different door and approaching concept art from within seems somewhat feasible. Maybe I’m crazy : )

That depends on a lot of factors such as timing, how “good” you are, who you know, etc.  If you can prove to the higher ups that you can do more than you are currently doing, then there may be a chance for you to shift your position at the studio, but you will likely have to wait until a position opens.  There’s no guarantees here, but at least you know the people who do the hiring.

If you wanted to jump from Ui to concept art, then you will need to show a solid portfolio.  Keep in mind though, that those are two very different skill sets and its very difficult to develop a solid body of work for each talent. If you are worried about bunign out, maybe you should consider working at a smaller game studio where they will require you to do a bit of everything (not just UI or Concept art, but both…and more)


The second question: Do you feel that you were tasked so heavily with creating weapons for Treyarch because their games revolved around them?  To put it another way, would you perhaps not be quite so specialized at a company like Bioware, where you see a whole variety  of concepts are needed to build their fantasy / scifi worlds?

I was tasked with designing weapons for Treyacrh because I set my portfolio up to prove that I could.  Since I am a freelance artists, I thought it would be better to be “known” as THE weapons guy rather than just another artist. I made a conscious effort to display weapons in my portfolio, and I was hired to do just that.  I can, of course. draw other things, but my portfolio was specifically designed to target companies that make first person shooter video games.  If I was an in-house artist, then I would set up my portfolio with a bit more of a general approach, showcasing other things besides weapons.


The third question: Is there anyone else that might weigh in on what other companies are like? (Perhaps there might be some other angles worth hearing about).

It’s always a great idea to seek other peoples perspective and opinions.  I can’t recommend anyone off the top of my head, but I am sure you can reach out to your favorite artists and they will respond.  Might take them a while though, so be patient.

Hope that helps.

-Eliott

0

Questions from a Highschool Student

Question Submitted from Mandee H. Concept art by Kalen Chock

Hi, I am a sophomore in highschool and I was wondering:

What kind of schools should I look at if I am interested in becoming a concept artist for games? What kind of degree should I shoot for?  Is getting an online degree a good idea? Should I start off my career as a freelancer or working for a studio? As I said earlier, I’m still in high school so I am not quite sure what to do when I graduate to start off my career.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my email.


Hey Mandee, thanks for reaching out. I’m glad you found the blog. My responses are inline.

What kind of schools should I look at if I am interested in becoming a concept artist for games? 

  • Have you visited the Resources page?  There’s an entire section dedicated to Concept art focused schools and even more info can be had in the downloadable .pdf list.

 

What kind of degree should I shoot for? Is getting an online degree a good idea? 

  • In this industry since you will be hired based on your merits as an artist (aka. your portoflio) degrees don’t really mater as much.  Don’t focus on the degree itself, rather the education you will receive.  I wrote “An Insider’s Guide For Student’s” for student’s like yourself who have specific questions about the types of classes you should be taking, colleges to attend, etc.  Check out chapter 3 (How to make the most of your education and schooling).

 

Should I start off my career as a freelancer or working for a studio?

  • If you want to work in video games, then I would aim to be an in-hose artists before you set off on your own to freelance.  This will give you time to familiarize yourself with the process of game development, grow as an artist and develop the communication skills (both vocally and artistically) to deliver successful concepts to clients. Plus the work experience will look good n your resume, and future clients will have confidence in your abilities knowing that you have worked on “big” projects in the past.

 

If you need further insight, I would highly recommend that you pick up your own copy of An Insider’s Guide For Students.  I wrote that book as straight forward and honestly as I could in hopes to answer your exact questions and more.   Check it out and let me know what you think.  If you still have questions after reading it, I would be happy to answer them.

-Eliott

0

How Can I Make Time In My Busy Day For Art?

Question submitted by Oliver B.

Hey Eliott, I’m an aspiring concept artist (hobbyist for now, still in high school), I have a important question concerning concept art. After a few months I realized that it takes an incredible amount of work to make it into the industry, I’ve heard some artists who are really amazing worked their asses of for years. Im talking about amazing, high-end professionals such as yourself or even guys like Eytan Zana, John j. Park or Maciej Kuciara. They obviously spend at least 10 hours a day on this stuff for years (probably more?). So Im asking you how it is possible to get this amount of work done each and every day. I’m usually totally exhausted after 5 hours of painting, when the brain runs out of glucose. How should I manage to triple this amount then?


Sarah

Hey Oliver, that’s a great question. The short answer is: find the motivation to keep going.  Your “drive” (willingness to succeed) is your strongest ally.  If its really important to you, you will find a way to power through the exhaustion.  Take breaks of course- but power through.  How do you find the time?  Brace yourself… you might not like the answer.   The reality is: to get as good as those artists you mentioned, then you will likely need to sacrifice as I am sure they did (I know I had to).  Here are some things you can do 

Wake up earlier and/or go to sleep later.

If you can gain an extra hour each day, that adds up to an additional 7 hours a week. Going to high-school I averaged 6-8 hours of sleep each night.  In college it was 3-5. Right now, in my professional career I get about 6.  (but the hard work in college has already pad off.  I got the job) It can be exhausting, but if you are able to develop and maintain a routine of discipline you’d be better off for it.

 Get your parents involved

Inform your parents of your intentions and plans, so they understand if you need to stay up later and do not volunteer you for after-school activities/ events that you may not even care for.  It also helps if the will sign you up for art classes, etc. My dad used to wake me up at 5 am, so we could get to school an hour early and draw.

Draw in your spare time

Every chance you get. Between classes.  During lunch. Got five minutes?-Pull out your sketchbook and doodle. You’d be surprised how much you can draw while taking the bus to school or sitting on the toilet.

Reduce the amount of tv watching (And Video games too).

Keep the tv watching/ video game playing down to an hour each day.  Seriously.  Use the gained time to draw.

Take summer art classes

Even though school is out, you will need to stay sharp on those skills.  While everyone else is out playing, you need to be drawing and improving.  Sucks, i know, but this is the truth.  I took college summer classes 4 years in a  row while still attending high school.  Good times.  

Don’t worry, those are just a few suggestions- you can still have a social life with friends.  I know they sound intensive, but the more you can do, the better off you will be.  In my book: “An Insiders Guide For Students” I talk about this very topic and cover in great length, the things you should be doing on your own time, what you should be learning and more.  If you haven’t already, you might consider picking up a copy for a more in depth answer.

Hope that helps.

-Eliott

0

What Are The Day-to-Day Operations of a Concept Artist?

Question submitted by Jonathan E.

Hey Eliott!

What are the day-to-day operations of a concept artist are like?  I am interested to know the sort of artistic executions concept artists are responsible for, and what I can expect to be doing as one  (Not the daily routine that a concept artist goes through) Will I be working on finished images or sketches?  The artwork I’ve seen on websites like Artstation or Kotaku is always “finished” and “complete”, yet I heard from an ex-Blizzard employee, that the majority of his day was spent in black and white line drawings. I’ve also heard it said “I hope you like drawing people’s faces for 10 hours a day for 4 years”. That of course seems extreme, but the point very much comes across. So which one is it? To that same point, what sort of workloads do concept artists deal with? I’ve heard it said (also from an ex-Blizzard employee) that concept artists don’t endure the same levels of crunch as the “heavy lifting” sits within the post-production / polishing phases. Is this true?

Thanks so much! Check out some of my artwork.
Jonathan
samurai-demon-clouds-copySm

Hey Jason, great questions. I think it all depends on your work situation.

If you are Freelancing:

Mitigating a client’s expectations is crucial since they will be offering you work based on your perceived abilities.  If your portfolio showcases work of a high caliber, and you promise the client a similar result, then that is what they will come to expect from you. When I deal with clients, I often explain to them that in the same time it takes me to do a single super polished image, I can produce 6 or 8 simple greyscale studies that further explore ideas.  Since it’s their dollar I leave the final choice up to them, but here’s what I’ve learned:

Bigger companies with bigger budgets, don’t really flinch at this, since they usually extend month long contracts (instead of a piece-by-piece basis) and they ask me to do a combination of both.  For example, when working on Black Ops 3, I was the “Weapons guy”. Turnaround times were tight, and for efficiency, my daily deliverables were done strictly in line drawings, greyscale images, napkin doodles etc. Once the design was approved I would be given a bit more time to do the final render pass in color.  Occasionally I would even have enough time to use 3d/ Keyshot to assist.

And that’s all did for 2 years. Weapons (and the occasional vehicle).  I must’ve done 300 weapon concepts to arrive at the 27 that actually made it into the game.  That’s the reality.  The comment about “drawing people’s faces for 10 hours a day for 4 years” isn’t really that far off.

Working with smaller companies and/ or individuals is a similar experience, but, more emphasis and time is usually given to the final image. Since it will usually be used for both production and marketing. I still might give them a greyscale image or two for speed, but will do far fewer revisions and idea exploration.  The subject matter I get to draw also varies greatly, since they may need me to do several things, instead of one thing over and over again.

soldier-7sm

 

If you are working in house:

My experience has varied working from job to job a studio. Because the Art Director is in the same building, the feedback process is much quicker and artwork can be reviewed in real time.  There was also friendly competition between the other in house concept guys, and we were all trying to out-do each other.  As such, I spent most, if not all, of my time painting high quality images in color.  (Still not to the level of polish you’d find Art Station though).

Even though the “heavy lifting” is done in the polish phase of game creation, a concept artist work is never really done.  Trust me, when everyone else is crunching in the studio, you will be too.  Partly cuz you’ll get random tasks from your art director, (that you will likely have absolutely no business doing) but also in part because you will feel guilty about leaving at 6pm, when everyone else is staying till 10.  There’s a compromise thereof course, but you get the notion.

warhammer-small3

 

Ultimately, the theme that remains consistent between every type of clients is their desire for the highest quality of work in the shortest amount of time, and at the lowest cost to them. It’s up to you to decide what you are comfortable providing them with.

I hope this helps.

-Eliott

 

0

 

Recent Comments by Eliott Lilly

    No comments by Eliott Lilly