Career outlook for concept artist
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
Concept artists visualise early ideas for films, videogames, animation, and advertising. Your work will be crucial in achieving consistency in the early stages of a creative project. And it will guide the outputs of other creatives – from 3D modelers and VFX teams to animators and set designers.
Your concept art needs to capture the atmosphere, mood and fine detail that will be vital when the project moves into production. This means you need to be a great artist first and foremost, able to take other people’s ideas and visualise them quickly and accurately. You could be asked to draw characters, props, vehicles, buildings or creatures. Sometimes all five, and more.
Artists now often mix digital and traditional approaches, so a knowledge of digital painting software like Photoshop, Corel Painter, and Maya is a must. You’ll need to be able to listen well, interpret complex briefs, and take feedback on your work.
What you’ll do
- Take a brief to understand the creative team’s vision for the project
- Create and present sketches of your initial ideas – on paper or in digital drawing software like Corel Painter
- Consider how your designs will be created by the production team and what techniques they’ll need to use
- Refine your sketches – often using digital tools like Photoshop – based on the team’s feedback to establish the final style
- Create a comprehensive digital database of visuals – showcasing different angles, perspectives, actions and environments
- Create realistic visuals at speed – your work can’t hold up production
- Keep a portfolio of work that shows your skills
UK employment status
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- Verbal communication
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Time management
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