How to Become a Game Artist?

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There is a lot behind the phrase “game artist”. Therefore, let’s first understand the types of artists. This will help you understand in what directions you can and want to develop.

  • Concept artist. Comes up with a general visual style of the game and an idea of how everything will look. Designs future locations, character costumes, weapons and other items. Concept art usually does not involve detail, it is an outline of the future game world. Based on these sketches, the final rendering is then performed.
  • Character artist. Inhabits the game with people and other creatures. Creates character illustrations from concept artist sketches. The artist gives the finished characters to the animation. Often, 2D characters become the basis for future 3D models. Knowing how to draw anatomy and portraits will help you if you decide to devote your life to a career as a character artist.
  • Environment artist. Creates a believable visual environment in which the game takes place – from impenetrable forests to eerie dungeons, from modern offices to gloomy deserts. If you are good at painting landscapes, then you, as they say, come here.
  • Texture artist. This specialist knows how to give any object a realistic look. Paint a matte or glossy surface; can simulate any material from wood to metal or snakeskin and hairs on the character’s head.
  • Interface artist. Determines the location of all buttons, windows and icons, and renders their design. It sounds kind of simple, but in fact, it depends on this master whether you will be satisfied with the game and whether you will return to it. The task of UI and UX artists is to make the game control convenient so that you don’t get confused by complex game functions and intuitively understand what to do at each stage. This specialization is most suitable for those who have worked as a product designer for applications, various websites and online platforms in the past.
  • Visual effects artist. Actually, it creates all the visual effects of video games – for example, explosions or sparks. It can also draw all moving objects except characters: from ripples on the water to clouds floating in the sky.
  • Illustrator. Draws static images such as loading screens or walkthrough maps. Also creates advertising posters, merchandise and other promotional aids for games.
  • 2D artist or digital artist as they are called. In small projects, he can perform the tasks of most of the above wizards, draws sprites and textures for characters and environments. 2d game artists are very much in demand, for example, in casual games. In addition, often in 3D games, objects are first rendered in 2D and then transferred to 3D, so 2D artists are also needed here.

I have decided. Where to run?

Go study. Moreover, if you are not a digital artist, that is, you do not own technical tools and do not know how to work in graphic programs. But even if you are technically savvy, it’s better to get a specialty. There are enough courses and schools on the market that are ready to make you a game artist.

The Internet will offer you many options for choosing a school. How to make a decision?

  • Find the teachers of these schools on the Internet. Look at their projects, professional experience, and teaching experience. It is best to learn from practitioners who, ideally, work in studios of interest to you.
  • Choose a specific course. Check with your school representative. Tell us what result you want to achieve and see if the course will help with this.
  • Find the work of graduates who have completed this course. Try to get in touch with them for their impressions and ask how their professional career is going after graduation.
  • Study reviews on the Internet.
  • Find out if the school is involved in the subsequent employment of students; does it help to find internships.
  • Do not be afraid to make the wrong choice, because 80% of success depends on your efforts and enthusiasm.

What’s next?

Then collect your portfolio. Most likely, after training, you will already have several works that can be shown. But even if you decide to skip the training point, you can’t do without a portfolio.

What else can you do?

Besides education and portfolio, there are a few other things you might find useful. Let us list them briefly.

  • First of all, don’t wait for vacancies. Don’t be afraid to write to your prospective employer first. Attach a link to your portfolio and describe why you want to work here.
  • Try to get into a team where you will have someone to look up to. Learn from the best, and not just your peers. Follow what other game artists are doing, subscribe to the most interesting artists and study their work.
  • Submit your work on special sites. Collect as many reviews as possible and listen to the opinion of the professionals.
  • Be patient. At first, you are unlikely to be allowed to lead large projects. You may have to paint something that is not exactly what you would like. But time and your perseverance are working for you.

Finally, believe in yourself. Remember, the artists you admire once started out just like you. Try your best and you will succeed.


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