BBWCA - What Major Should I Choose

Eliott Lilly answers the questions of where to attend school and what major to take for a concept art career.

Question submitted by Eryckah W.

Hello Eliott! 

I’m a freshman in college who is still considering majors. I noticed that portfolios of art were very important. But I was wondering what kind of major would be most appropriate? Currently, I am a Computer Science major, but I know that art classes are not required for the major where I attend school. Would a fine arts major be more appropriate?
Thanks in advance!

Hey Eryckah

The question of “What major should I take in college if I want to be a concept artist” comes up a lot.  I have answered this question in-depth in my book: Big Bad World Of Concept Art; An Insider’s Guide For Students. If you are serious about becoming a concept artist, then I highly recommend that you pick up a copy here. It was written for students just like you who need help realizing their dreams. 

In the mean time, the short answer to your question is that neither of those education tracts are where you want to be and you may be in the wrong major and/or school.

That may be hard to hear, but here’s why: If you wanted to be a concept artist, then at the core of your abilities, you will need to know how to draw, design and think analytically.  Based on the options you mentioned, neither seem to fulfill those needs thoroughly. I normally recommend that students study either Illustration or product design in college since both of those degrees will develop those design skills necessary to be a successful concept artist. 

Check out this article I wrote for another student.  If you school looks similar  to his, then you may be in trouble.  Am I In The Wrong School?

Hope that helps.