A person who likes drawing using pencils and paints on paper may be drawn to become a concept artist working in the computer and video games field.
A person who holds this position works closely with other members of the team, such as the art director and the storywriter. His or her drawings form the basis for the game’s overall design.
The concept artist must be able to produce high quality images in a timely manner. He or she will likely participate in brainstorming sessions with other team members where they will be making quick sketches that reflect the ideas being discussed. The idea here is not to spend time filling in a lot of detail, but to get something down on paper that reflects an idea or a concept, instead.
Once the basic idea for the game has been determined, the concept artist uses his or her skills to work on the structures and textures that will make up part of the game. The 3D artists will use these images as the basis for their work, so precision is very important at this point in the process. Another function the concept artist may be responsible for is sketching the storyboard for the game. This is another example of artwork where the idea is presented quickly without going into a lot of detail.
The concept artist’s work provides the foundation for other specialists to build on when developing the game. The concept artist’s work may also appear on the game’s website or in the user manual.
Completing a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts or getting a diploma in this subject area are good ways to get the credentials necessary to work in this field. The undergraduate program will include courses in art history, ancient art, medieval art, humanities, and social sciences. The student who chooses this type of program will also spend part of their time in the studio so that that they can continue to develop their craft.
Considering a program at a visual arts college or school is another good strategy for the aspiring concept artist. This option offers courses that are more focused on the skills necessary to become employable in the field. Some colleges and art schools offer internships or a period of practical work experience, and these are opportunities for making contacts and showing employers what the new concept artist can accomplish in the "real world." Being able to interact with team members on the job is a great way to get feedback and develop techniques further than simply working in a studio setting on campus.
A trained computer and video game concept artist can expect to earn approximately $64,000 per year (Indeed.com).