What does a Concept Artist do?

Learn all about Concept Artist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Concept Artist.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A concept artist is a professional within the game industry who specializes in creating the initial designs and illustrations for characters, locations, objects, and other elements that appear in video games.

Concept artists work closely with game developers and producers to ensure that the vision for a game is realized in its artwork. They may be responsible for creating 2D or 3D art, or both. Concept artists typically have a background in traditional art, such as painting or sculpture.

Concept Artist job duties include:

  • Generate ideas for new products or features and create prototypes
  • Design user interfaces, icons, and graphic elements for software applications, websites, and other digital media
  • Develop storyboards, mood boards, and style guides to communicate design concepts
  • Create 2D or 3D models of characters, environments, and objects
  • Animate characters and objects for commercials, video games, and other forms of media
  • Render illustrations, logos, and other graphics using traditional or digital techniques
  • Work with art directors, producers, and other designers to select colors, fonts, and other design elements
  • Incorporate feedback from clients or team members into designs
  • Stay up-to-date on trends in the design industry

Concept Artist Job Requirements

A concept artist is responsible for developing the visual style and themes of a game. They work with the art director to create concept art, character designs, environment designs, and promotional materials. A concept artist typically has a bachelor's degree in fine arts, but some jobs may require a master's degree. Many concept artists are self-taught and have portfolio of their work to show potential employers. Certification is not required, but can be helpful in getting a job. Experience is also helpful, as many concept artists start out as interns or junior artists before being promoted to a lead position.

Concept Artist Skills

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Character design
  • Creature design
  • Environment design
  • Prop design
  • Vehicle design
  • Colour theory
  • Light and shadow
  • Perspective
  • Composition

Related: Top Concept Artist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Concept Artist

There is no one specific path to becoming a concept artist, but there are a few things that will help you on the way. Firstly, it is important to have a strong foundation in the basic principles of art and design. This means having a good understanding of composition, color theory, light and shadow, and other basic elements of art. Secondly, it is helpful to be proficient in a variety of digital painting and drawing software programs. Many concept artists use programs like Photoshop or Painter to create their work. Familiarity with these programs will give you an edge when applying for jobs or freelance work. Finally, it is always beneficial to have a strong portfolio of your work. This is the best way to show potential employers or clients what you are capable of and what kind of style you prefer to work in. If you can focus on these three areas, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful concept artist.

Related: Concept Artist Resume Example

Related: Concept Artist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)