Concept Artist - I'm not starving you're starving

Hello Computers!

I'm new to this place. Looks like a good platform to show my work and get some gigs/tips/advice - trying to go full freelance this year. Worked on some big things and some small things last year like a flippen Playstation Commercial, the Journey Ahead one on Youtube and a Paramount pitch for Michael Matthews. For these jobs I designed Robots, Environments, exoskeleton suits, mutant amphibians, a dragon and monster hunting playboy yachts . I also did hippo-at-the-vlei badges for girl scouts and worked as an assistant to the the assistant stylist on a Hungry Lion commercial so things are swinging both ways for me at the moment, I don't want to seem ungrateful but assisting an assistant stylist is a made-up job and it shouldn't exist.

I've worked mostly in film but I'd like to explore game as well. Please take a look at my work and let me know what you think, it would be extra kind if you have some critique or tips for me!

Thank you!
Insta: @_strawbs
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  • @STRAWBS Your art skills are top notch! I'm digging the intricate level of detail.
    Thanked by 1STRAWBS
  • Thanks David!
    Thanked by 1iamdavidnight
  • edited
    When I think about the purpose of concept art, I think it serves two main purposes. The one is to iterate quickly on ideas, and explore (and reject) lots of options before narrowing things down to the best of them. I think your work does a good job of that.

    But the other purpose is to give teams of people further down the pipeline solid direction from which to work. Those people might in some cases be excellent artists in their own right, or very experienced with using 3D software, but they may not be well-versed in the language of visual design, or historical accuracy, or any number of other things that concept artists may be better-versed in. And for them, your work ideally communicates enough information that they can continue with their work without having to keep checking back with an art director or concept artist about how something's supposed to look. This is where I think some of your work is very fuzzy: there are lots of brush strokes and bits of photobashing messiness, which is great for communicating the impression of detail as far as mood, but pretty terrible at communicating to an artist who has to model each piece what exactly something is. How do they join together? How does a joint articulate? Does something look different from the side or back?

    Comparing with Paul Richards is unfair (he's kind of a legend), but in his work he does sometimes use things bashed from photos, or paint over screenshots or renders, but those are never noise that get in the way of the design intent. The images are clear, and where they aren't, he does a more detailed drawing next to it to communicate how something would look from the front/side/top/whatever, so that the next person in the pipeline is pretty clued up just from looking at his images on what they should be doing. Creatures might have poses, or their wings outstretched vs folded, or soldiers may have some sketches about how their guns might transform or fold away.

    Some concepts I've been given in the past have had the concept art itself fairly loose, but they'd include reference images for different types of textures to give an understanding of what material or design would be there. Here's an example.
    Thanked by 2Fengol Trimpiece
  • Great advice thanks!
  • @STRAWBS I realise concept art is 'meant' to be used as a guide to visualise and enhance upon and it is interesting to read critique, which makes sense if the intent is for the art to support a further pipeline in pursuit of realism if that is the end goal, but...

    I would love to have art like this in a final product any day, regardless of it being labelled 'concept' by you the artist!

    I really admire the style of 'concept' art in general I guess. It allows for the viewer to fill in gaps by using the imagination, which runs parallel to what most games do anyway, hinting at realism.

    I cannot see why this cannot be used in a final product? This is beauuuuuutiful. Thanks for sharing! :D
    Thanked by 1STRAWBS
  • @konman - Yeah that's actually an issue with more illustrative imagery being labeled as concept art. Final art assets can be a variety of looks and styles. For concept work though you're actually the idea person and you need to convey that idea well enough so artists further down the pipeline aren't guessing.
    I recall one of my earlier jobs where I was designing military vehicles and was asked to do a game screen mockup with them fighting aliens. The alien designs I was given look really visually pleasing but I couldn't even make out the actually basic shape of the aliens and had to go back to the client to explain this. At 1st they suggested I just didnt know what I was doing but luckily the original artist came back and agreed that their designs where hard to read.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that a certain level of polish, realism and skillfulness is required to be even remotely competitive. Freelancing is even worse, you're playing career mode on ultra hard.
    Thanked by 1STRAWBS
  • Wow Guys!
    Thank you so much for the critique, wasn't expecting people to take so much time! It means a lot. Really eye opening to the see the gaming side of concept art, I can definitely see how it would be too difficult to model something from my stuff. Will for sure work on that! Thanks!

    However, in almost all of the jobs I’ve been part of, leaving a lot to the imagination has been encouraged. I’ve even been told to go back and make things more moody and loose. In film, it’s usually to help the production designer to work out the mood and feel of a production so the designer and director are on the same page. In this sense, maybe it can be labelled ‘concept art’, or at least nobody has ever told me I’m not allowed to call what I do concept art! (not until now that is!)

    What I’m aiming for is a more Sergey Kolesov look! Paul Richards is a great inspiration - will for sure do some studies of his work!
    Thanked by 2Elyaradine watson
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