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Concept art is getting bigger and bigger. More people know what it is nowadays, it gets shown in the media more often and more books get released. This automatically results into more people wanting to become concept artists. So many artschools are now creating special courses all towards game art or concept art. (Game art can also include UI design, 3D modeling etc.).
Yet it is a fairly new thing to most people and the idea of "becoming a concept artist" has grown rapidly over such a short time that a lot of people who are new to it seem to get a lot of misguide info. I am going to try to list this misguided info and direct you to the correct info.
(Again I would always advise you to do your own research and form your own knowledge and not just simply agree with what you read online, not from anyone, not from me. Even though i'm right ;) .. ofcourse. :P *wink *wink )


Dust by TitusLunter Colony by TitusLunter Street by TitusLunter

:bulletblue: Using photo-bashing is cheating and shows a lack of painting knowledge. WRONG!

Photo-bashing is not cheating, as a matter of fact it is a standard technique used in the majority of western AAA game studios especially when they aim for realistic visuals. Assassins Creed, Tomb Raider, The Last of us, Uncharted, you name it. The ideas were all shaped by using photos. Secondly, being able to make a good looking photo-bash where everything works and looks right, you need to have a lot of knowledge about lighting, shapes perspectives materials etc. If you don't the photo-bash will look faulty. (This is not only for environments, realistic characters will get a highly detailed photo-bashed concept before it's sent to the modelers to work on.
Using photos as a reference is very normal too. You can totally use real life faces from people to base your work on, gives you a bigger change on getting it right and unique too!

SYNDICATE concept - interior items by torvenius SYNDICATE concept - interior items by torvenius SYNDICATE concept - fuseboxes by torvenius

:bulletblue: As a concept artist I can draw cool things all day! WRONG!

A lot of it will be research, photo-bashing and working on things that does not always include your favorite topic. You can work on a really cool game such as Killzone, but part of your time will be spend on concepting bolts, floors, door handles etc. So not just cool environment pieces and awesome characters. How about those trashcans and barrels; they need concepting too!
I you want to be a studio concept artist you better get to love the technical side of it and not just the romantic one. Have passion for designing anything instead of only having heart for designing cool looking chicks with big boobs. (you can always have your favorite topics to concept, but there will plenty of time spend on the less romantic stuff.)
And research, lots of it! You'll do a lot of reference sheets and research on weird things like: what does silk look like when it's wet? Or how does a secure door work?


Assassin's Creed 3 Promo by vampiresrock17 The Last Of Us by Vegetassj51 Uncharted Trilogy - Wallpaper by Link-LeoB

:bulletblue: That newly published image from that highly anticipated game that's in development is such an amazing piece of concept art! WRONG!

Yes of course this piece is amazing, but don't think this is what concept art looks like on the work floor, on the contrary this "concept art' image they released is promo art. An artist gets to spend a lot more time on the promo image than the usual concept art, plus the image is done separately after the concepts of it have been approved. AKA that beautiful image is not a quick idea from a concept artist in the studio. It's purely designed for marketing reasons, even though the press labels it as concept art. Fun fact, most concept art in development are sketches, loose shapes and ideas, that only get rendered into highly detailed and polished images at a much later stage after dozens of iterations. Those sketches and iterations and the final model-sheets, that is the concept art. Lets not confuse concept art and promo art as the same thing. 


:bulletblue: I need a diploma from an art institute before I can apply for work. WRONG!

Studios or clients rarely care about a diploma, all they care about it what you can show them and work experience. Of course having graduated with special honors form a highly established fine art institute can be a nice shiny on your CV, but that's all really it stands for. Many many many concept artists out there have no art related diploma yet totally kick ass. art schools can help you a lot with learning the basics of painting, drawing and concepting. But the thing that will make your work stand out from others are developed by the time and knowledge you spend on it personally.

:bulletblue: I want to work for a AAA studio because they are more fun to work for. WRONG!

Well, partially wrong. Hell yeah it's fun to work for a AAA studio, but how about indie developers mobile developers, or online developers? Why would you think that they are not just as much fun? 
Do you even know what AAA games stand for? Here it is, quoted from Wikipedia, this person explained it better than I would.

Since AAA its an acronym, each "A" has a meaning regarding an overall quality. One "A" is given to games that are consider to be "Critical Success" (critics or reviewers give it a perfect, or almost perfect score), another "A" is used when a game brings "innovative Gameplay" (a gaming characteristic so unique that differentiate the game from all the rest), and finally, the last "A" defines "Financial Success" (game sales that generate a huge profit). A title consider to be AAA is therefore a high quality game and its expected to be among the year’s bestsellers. As the years progressed and during the new millennium, many publishers started to consider their games to be AAA even before their release, and justifying this decision through huge development and marketing budgets.This lead to a misrepresentation of the AAA title, since not all games with a huge budget (specially for consoles), are either a financial success, critical success or have innovative gameplay. Wikipedia link

At the end of the day most AAA companies are bigger, take on bigger projects with bigger budgets. Those factors come with good and bad sides. Don't write other game companies off as their lesser brother. It's simply a different brother, but the experience of working there can be just as much fun or for some, even more fun. It all depends on what your preferences are when it comes to things such as: Do you prefer working on the same thing for a long time or switch around a bit more often? Do you like working in a smaller team where your creative opinion matters a lot or in a big company where your opinion gets faded away through layers of hierarchy? Do you like working on big and famous games or games that are a bit funny and special? etc.

A list of things I mentioned, in case you don't know what they are.
UI = User Interface. It's the health/mana-bars, the menu's, icon's etc.
Photobashing = Using photo elements for making a painting. They can be a texture effect or simply cut and pasted elements of photo's.
Model-sheet = An image that provides multiple angles of an item-character-or environment, used by a 3D modeler to work from when he makes a 3D model of the concept.
Indie developer = A game studio, or perhaps just 1 person that is an independent game developer making their own games. Most people that do Kickstarter campaigns for their games are indie developers.


Can you name more? Or do you have specific questions? Let me know in the comments :)

Here are some other journals I've made that provide other artist related info :)

The 5 bullshit myths of concept art.Concept art is getting bigger and bigger. More people know what it is nowadays, it gets shown in the media more often and more books get released. This automatically results into more people wanting to become concept artists. So many artschools are now creating special courses all towards game art or concept art. (Game art can also include UI design, 3D modeling etc.).
Yet it is a fairly new thing to most people and the idea of "becoming a concept artist" has grown rapidly over such a short time that a lot of people who are new to it seem to get a lot of misguide info. I am going to try to list this misguided info and direct you to the correct info.
(Again I would always advise you to do your own research and form your own knowledge and not just simply agree with what you read online, not from anyone, not from me. Even though i'm right ;) .. ofcourse. :P *wink *wink )
  
  Are you on the right track? + Fuck Talent!Am I on the right track?
This is a thing people often wonder and think it's a complicated to find out, but it is actually pretty simple. It's a different question you need to ask yourself based on different topics.
As for: Fuck talent! You'll find it if you scroll down :P
:bulletblue: Topic 1: Am I on the right track to becoming a better artist?
Does your work from today, look closer to your initial goal than your work from last week? (this needs to be both in skill and idea.)
:bulletgreen: Good skills: Honing your technique, training you muscle memory, being more knowledgeable about your tools and art rules. With art rules I mean: Perspective, form, light, texture, composition.
:bulletgreen: Good ideas: Storytelling, characteristics, charm, emotion and design. Not just making things look polished but also convey something more, something that brings it to life and speaks to pe
How to win Art-contests! (+ Caldyra winners!)Let me start by saying how incredibly happy I am with all these amazing and inspiring entries! This definitely calls for doing another such contest soon!
Most of you have really tried their best and it shows! I couldn't have asked for better or more, choosing the winners among these was already aching my brains.
This journal will show the winners and the special mentions but also a bit about how to higher your changes on winning contests (maybe good for the next one).
This was my contest for those interested:

How to win contests?!
The change on winning a contest always gets smaller based on the amount of people joining in, however this doesn't mean that your work will be diminished by the numbers.
Here is a list of tips and tricks to make sure that your work gets into the top 10 !
:bulletblue: Triple read the contest's description. Make sure you got every detail right.
In this case it was pretty important that the Skyworm loo
A big black hole called: Procrastination.Procrastination is an infinite cycle that becomes bigger and bigger the longer it's there and the time wasted being sucked into it is a dark matter of nothing.
:P hahah I figured this was the most dramatic way to put it, but yeah, it's real and it sucks.
For those who don't know what it means: Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before the deadline.
We all suffer from procrastination. It is pretty innocent when you have it with household chores or packing your suitcase before you go on a holiday. 
But it becomes a serious problem when you do it with the important things in your life. I take it you're an artist if you're reading this and the biggest aim of being an artist is to be an even better one.
As shown in previous journals there are many
What do do as an artist in training.There are many ways to Rome they say. But I find most aspiring artists lost and asking me for guidance
and this is what I tell them.
Find out for yourself what you really want to do with art, there are so many different professions.
Graphic designer, Concept artist (mobile and high end), Illustrator of bookcovers, or card games.
Once you can make your pick, or at least pick 1 or 2 you must find the best work on the market in those fields. 
Find out what makes the best art of your favorite field the best art. What do they paint? How do they paint it? With knowing this you can find out about the things you need to study.
The most basic study aims are the following:
:bulletblue: Lighting.
What forms of light art there? And how does it influence things?
The book Color and Light by James Gurney will give you a lot of insight.
  
:bulletblue: Shapes.
How do you paint shapes? How do you light them the right way?
You will learn a l
Where to get started before you can apply for workThere is no such thing as suddenly knowing when you are ready to turn your
passion into your profession. But there is a way of measuring your chances on being
able to get work and eventually sustain a living from it.
Accepting commissions or freelance for low payment won't help you. You can think any penny counts, but it will lower the worth of your work and damage the market.
:bulletblue: How to measure that you are ready?
You probably have high goals, but they are usually not your first step. You must search out the clients who can be that first step. Often found in the card game industry, book cover illustrations and smaller game company's. 
Look at the artwork shown by a company such as the card game company: Fantasy Flight games. Compare your skills with the average of their artworks. If it matches yours, you will have a chance. However, keep in mind that those artworks had been done in a limited timeframe, usually within 12 hour
This is why you (and your art) get ignored.People often get the sense of being ignored in the art-scene, especially here online. We all try so hard to get our foot in the door, it's like trying to stuff yourself in an overfull bus like a sardine in a can.
Sometimes you just want to socialize with other artists you admire and you seem to be talking into a brick wall or perhaps you've send your portfolio to a company over a dozen times and still don't even seem to get the smallest response or feedback. I will try and tell you WHY you get ignored and HOW you can get noticed instead.
I will go through the following cases of being ignored:
:bulletgreen: Your comment.
:bulletgreen: Your art.
:bulletgreen: Your Portfolio.
:bulletyellow: Do know, that even though being ignored feels very personal it's hardly ever personal at all! 
:bulletblue: Your comment(s) gets ignored.
It happens ever so often. You notice an artwork or a discussion and you weigh in with your opinion or admiration, perhaps even some feedback? T
The problematic behavior of digital artists.There is a bunch of things online artist do terribly wrong on a regular basis. Some of it might be directly aimed to you and some might be things you from others. 
Shortlist:
:bulletblue: Way too little time spend on painting/practice.
:bulletblue: People making nit pick pointers.
:bulletblue: The extreme fuzz about labels and methods.
:bulletblue: Witch-hunting/ talking smack.
However I'd like to start with a totally opposite note:
This year I've also experienced great support from the art community for which I'm dearly grateful for.
:icontituslunter: got me an amazing birthday gift(video), made by him and fellow awesome artists:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203399746211607
And the support I've had this past week with the event of my sisters death has been incredibly helpful. (Thank you for all the donations, there are no more worries about money anymore thanks to you awesome people!)

:bulletred: (most of) You seem to spend way to li

The stuff that artists go through.There are so many pro's and con as to being an artist, professional or as a hobby. 
It feels nice to be able to express yourself through something you make and when that something turns out to be looking good we get this sense of accomplishment. 
Most of the time though there are bad feelings mixed with the good ones.
:bulletblue: Not being understood. Those moments where your friends or family does not understand that you have to desire to be alone and work on your art. Those copious amounts of hours you spend working and they wonder why you wouldn't rather be outside relaxing in the sun or hang out with your friends.
The only people who will ever fully understand this are other artists or simply very understandable people. It's important they they will eventually understand so there wont be any hurt feelings. Try to explain ti as calmly and rational as you can, perhaps with using examples in terms they  would understand.

:
  Overcome your unfair obstacles.We all have certain obstacles that gives us the feeling of: 'This is so unfair!.'
To me it's one of the most annoying feelings in the world because in general we don't really know how to deal with it. One little part of us says: 'Don't whine about it, you are just being jealous.' the other part of you tells you: 'If I didn't have this obstacle or disability I would rule the world!!'
So you bounce around  anger, sadness, hopelessness and envy. 
If you were just sad about something or simply angry it would be a lot easier to deal with, you cry or you just vent a bit towards a friend. 
But how to deal with he feeling of unfairness? 

:bulletblue: There are many things that can form this unfair obstacle for you.
Physical obstacles such as: MS, Lyme disease, Arthritis, Color blindness, missing fingers?
Mental obstacles such as: Depression, being a procrastinator (yes I'm naming it because it's a mental blockade that keeps y
Fast lane to becoming a better artist.I often get this very question: How did you get this good this fast?

Now as I consider myself not being as good as people tell me, even struggling quite often with being an artist in general. 
I do know how to get better and how to reach it fast. I'm still growing as I go and it's the main thing that keeps me going.
You need to get into the right mindset and the rest will follow. With the rest I mean:
1. Willpower.
2. Endurance.
3. Positive energy.
4. The NEED to draw.
:bulletblue: Seeing growth in your work gives you the courage to work harder. You know that feeling when you're just about done with an image
and feel like this image is better than your last one, that great feeling. Use it!
:bulletblue: Do studies! Lots of them!! Make film shot studies, live object studies, master-painting studies. They will teach you a lot about composition, lighting, colors, shapes storytelling etc. 
You will hardly notice that you are learning thing
Why it's so important to unite as artists.We are with many though yet we are with few. We're all divided over little subgroups such as, fantasy illustrators, concept artists, comic book pencilers, photomanipers, techartists, anime drawers, realism sketchers etc. You might even find your place at multiple sections.
I found that the biggest united groups on Deviant Art are mostly evolved around fan art, such as Sonic, or My little pony. 
Observations aside, I think the good thing about those groups is that they serve for companionship. Being an artist all by yourself with no one to share/talk about/discuss your work with can feel rather lonely. And that lonely feeling is not encouraging at all. Most of us  keep a lot of things taboo as well, like techniques or rates. If we were more openly with these the changes of being underpaid or missing out on a job because someone else does it for hardly any money at all will grow slimmer. People should know what they are worth and not be afraid to ask for it.
When I joined Devia
Are you being honest with yourself?As part of becoming good at something you need to be able to reflect upon yourself. Judge your own abilities and work and consider the possibility that what ever you have been doing it wrong all along. Or perhaps you're actually being to hard on yourself and you're better than your conscious is telling you. (This is bad too because it leads to insecurities.)

Signs that you might overestimate your current skills.
Do you often feel these things when you look upon work from good artists?:
I can totally do this too.
This is not so hard, I can do this faster.
My work is way more interesting.
It's not fair that this person gets way more attention than I do.
Why am I not being recognized for my skills.
This other technique is cheating! (photo-bashing, using reference, filters, effects etc)
I don't need to draw and learn all day to become this good.
I spend 2 hours on a painting, Masterpiece!!
Signs that you might underestimate your skills.
Do you ofte
When someone brings your art down...Putting our art out there makes us very vulnerable, especially when you've made something close to your heart. Perhaps something of your own fantasy, a story, a fan fiction your passionate about?
As much as most of us really want to improve, we also simply want to make art because we love it and when we share it there is a slight hope there is someone out there who will love it too.
There are all kinds of ways other people can bring you down by saying something about your art, or by doing nothing at all! Perhaps YOU are even part of making someone feel down and you're not realizing it!

:bulletblue: The harsh critique.
This person might want to help you or simply likes to bring you down. In either case this person will write in length about your lack of technique, uniqueness and/or skill. 
:bulletred: Respond option: Thanks but no thanks! Tell this person you appreciate the time spend on their post, but you rather hear constructive critique instead
How to deal with or get feedback.Getting feedback or critiques may be hard for people.
Some people want it really bad but can't seem to get it, at least not from the people he/she is hoping for.
And other get it all the time but feel a little attacked or bullied by it.
Pretty much anyone with eyes and some intelligence is able to spot mistakes or irregularities in someone's work. This person doesn't have to be more skilled than you. 
However, this person... might be wrong.... 
:bulletpurple: How do you judge a critique?
You initially made your artwork according to the knowledge you currently have. Leaving room for mistakes in the elements you're not trained or knowledgeable in. Or perhaps you think you know something and you are not aware that it's wrong.
When someone gives you feedback, even though it might feel incorrect. Take a little time to do some extra research on the matter. 
:bulletblue: You can ask others if they agree with someone's  feedback.
:bulletblue: You can search online (wit
So tired of not achieving what you want?So tired of not achieving what you want?

Everyone has something they really want dearly, a career, to have a certain loved one, to be able to make certain things...
The most common one among us artist are:
- I want to be able to draw better
- I want to be able to draw like "this"person.
- I want to earn money with my drawing.
- I want to be able to draw what I imagine in my head.
- I want more people to appreciate my art.
- I want more feedback from artists I admire.
- I want more..
- I want better....
All this wanting.. dreaming of... hoping for.
How about doing it!! With these sort of "wants", it's a matter of DOING IT!
How? You ask?
There are many ways, but the usual and only answers to those desires are: 
- Spend the most time you have on drawing/painting.
- Go and ask people for help, it is okay to do so!
- Look at that amazing artwork and try and figure out how this person made it, perhaps he/she will tell you? Perhaps this person has made a video or tutoria
Avoid getting ripped off by a client.As a freelancer most of your business takes place online, which makes it really easy
for people to rip you off. How many times have we seen the following scenario's:
1- Someone offers a descent payment for your artwork but wants you to do an art-test first.
after the art-test you're being told you're not good enough. Later you find out that other people
got to do different art-test topics and also weren't good enough. The client clearly ripped people off to get free artwork.
2- Someone offers good money for your artwork. The sketch gets approved so you continue working. Right when it's done the total image suddenly becomes a great disappointment and the client ends up not paying you.
These were just 2 examples of situations that happen a lot to freelancers. There are many more like it.
:bulletblue: How to detect if a client is a bit fishy...
Does their email address look professional? Some legit people may use their Gmail address, with their real name or nickname, those are questionabl

  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Dimensions- James Dooley
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:iconfdfxd2:
fdfxd2 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought most conce- errm... I mean..... "promo" art pieces(like the AC3 and uncharted's pieces) are simply high quality renders in Cinema 4D/3DS max?

I didn't know they were painted....
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:iconroseserpenthelm:
RoseSerpenthelm Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
Would you sum up the difference between concept art and Promo art as:

Concept art is meant to be the raw idea, and it doesn't necessarily have to be colored or neat, as long as the idea and design is conveyed.

Promo art is deigned to be eye catching, with a high degree of quality and possibly offer a glimpse into the project

?
Reply
:iconsuzanne-helmigh:
Suzanne-Helmigh Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Not so much.
Concept art starts out raw and rough and usually ends up really high polished when needed.

Promo art is more like a movie poster or illustration for that matter. It's an image that tells a fraction of the game or movie.

While concept art has a lot of designs without any story telling, characters put in T poses, environments without any characters in it. Items, etc without a background. Promo art wil always have background and is done after the concepts have been done before.
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:iconjacoposchiavo:
JacopoSchiavo Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I'm reading all your Journals link and I really thank u Suzanne, it's really healthy knowing you can find someone sharing good vibes and inspirational infos like you are doing!
:) Keep up the good work, hugs!
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:iconsuzanne-helmigh:
Suzanne-Helmigh Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much, glad you like them :D
Reply
:iconisho13:
Isho13 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What is the difference between photobashing and matte painting?
Reply
:iconsuzanne-helmigh:
Suzanne-Helmigh Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Same difference as sketching and drawing :D
Reply
:icongray-gunman:
Gray-Gunman Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
Please forgive me for saying this Sir or Miss......


BUT YOU ARE A FREAKIN' GOD. At giving advice, I mean. You aswnered so many of my questions, cleared certain doubts that I had here and there. I'm sorry. I really don't mean to put you on a pedestal, but you are an amazon person though.
Reply
:iconsuzanne-helmigh:
Suzanne-Helmigh Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
haha well thank you :D
I'm rather just approached as your equal, because I am your equal :P
But thanks for the great compliment, Is hall now fly through the heavens and move mountains :P ;)
Reply
:iconbanamaru:
banamaru Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
I'm really interested in becoming a concept artist myself, so I wonder, how do you suggest I start out as one?
For now, I'm not really into drawing buildings and square objects, but from what I've read here and on other sites, that's exactly what I'll be doing if I follow that career. 
But then, do you think being a concept artist would be too boring for someone like me? xD
Do you happen to know about a similar job that doesn't involve that right at first?
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