Becoming a Concept Artist
From time to time, we get questions from you wonderful players about life at KingsIsle or information about the gaming industry in general. We try our best to answer these questions, and last year we got the following question:
What does it take to be a concept artist for KingsIsle or in general? I really love to draw and illustrate and I’ve always beamed at the idea of being a concept artist at KingsIsle because while seeing the finished product is amazing, I would have never guessed that it’s in the concept artist’s hands to make the landscape, characters, etc! I’d love to know how that comes around and to be a concept artist, do you need to know a thing or two about programming?
We headed over to KingsIsle Concept Art Lead, Dave Greco, for his insight to this question.
I’m glad I can help answer such a great question! As a concept artist, we work with the writing and design team to help visualize the look of a world or characters before it goes into art production. It’s a super creative and collaborative position to be in.
The first thing it takes to be a concept artist at KingsIsle Entertainment is a true passion for painting, a drive to create artistically and like most trades, many years of practice. A great place to start is getting into some type of art program throughout high school and then finding an accredited art school after graduation for further education. No programming knowledge required! It is definitely a bonus to have at least a base knowledge of current 3d packages though. That way you can either use them with your own work, or to be able to check out a modelers work to paint over.
Since most concept artists paint digitally these days, one of the best things you can do is to acquire some type of digital drawing tool and dive into Photoshop or any other painting program. Play with color, brushes, and just paint till the sun comes up. One of the best practices you can do is to draw from life as much as possible. Take the time to draw everything you see walking around you, from your friends to people just sitting in a coffee shop. Practice makes perfect, and art is no different. Time and dedication to your craft will open up so many doors for you past graduation.
I think at the core of becoming a professional artist is the desire to create new worlds and ideas through the use of a pencil or paintbrush. If you have a true passion for creating art, then the ability to become a concept artist down the road is very real. As far as the concept team here goes at KingsIsle, we look for the ability to paint and even more importantly, the ability to be creative. It’s an amazing career for any artist to strive for one that I am truly grateful to have.
Thanks for the information Dave! We hope all you budding artists out there enjoy his advice. Happy painting!