Question submitted by Jonathan E. Concept art by Hector Ruiz



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.