Aspiring to be a VG concept artist, but for education....?
I have a DEC in Fine Arts from Dawson College in Montreal, and a year of illustration and design under my belt.
I've wanted to be a VG concept artist for quite a while now, and while I currently have a assistant lead position at a game testing company, I do want to move onto the creative side of the industry relatively soon.
I was wondering if anyone can give me advice, or maybe can even name another forum of ca.org, where I can get some additional points of advice in education.
Since I live in Montreal, there are a good number of developers, including Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Eidos, and some smaller ones too.
But I do feel I need additional education before I can even think of applying to any place. What's a good thing to have if you're going for this sorta job? More illustration classes, or a course dedicated to game design?
There are a few video game design courses in Montreal, but I'm always hesitant as they cost lot of money, and spend only a fraction of the course on the art side.
I'm from Max the Mutt Animation School in Toronto. We have several graduates working for UbiSoft ( graduates of our animation program) , and when we started our Diploma Program in Concept Art for Animation and Video Games, we were contacted by their recruiter. She came with a producer to visit the school and speak to the students, and both said very favorable things about the students and the work they saw. In fact, the producer said "these kids are lucky to be here." Please take a look at our website, www.maxthemutt.com. We may be the right school for you, and possibly you could apply for advanced standing into year 2.
If you call or email the recruiter at UbiSoft in Montreal, I think she'll be happy to give you information. They'll be expanding again and will need people! I'm at home now and her name slips my mind, but she is very accessible and friendly! Give it a try and let us know what she tells you.
One of the lucky and unlucky things about being an artist is that your portfolio is all that matter's when it comes to getting a job, nobody is going to care where or if you went to art school. This is not to say you should or shouldn't go, it's just that when you are being assessed by the Art Director it's going to be your work that he looks at.
As for what type of course to take, well I've hired and worked with concept designers who have mainly come from Industrial Design or Illustration educational backgrounds. Generally speaking, and of course there can be exceptions, I would avoid game design courses if you want to become a concept artist, for the most part these course will not give you full time study in concept design and will not have the best instructors for concept design/illustration.
What do we look for in concept designers? Sometimes companies hire for specific projects in which case they tend to like concept artists who have the same style or can adapt to that style, but in general the broader your skill set is the more appealing you are to the employer. If you have a broad portfolio that shows you can handle characters, vehicles, environments, mood paintings, storyboards in a wide variety of styles then you become much more employable than an artist who has a portfolio that shows only fantasy monsters. There are many, many things that contribute to what we look for, personally once the basicís have been covered, design, perspective, color, proportion, anatomy, the biggest thing that I look for is, can this artist give me things I havenít seen before.
I am also interested in concept and design for movie and video games as well could you share the info please. I actually took a course in 3d but only the first year we learned about concepts, painting, charcaol, drawing characters and layout and some 3d but I am not staying for the fact that I want to go in drawing so I will get in algonquin trad animation. Do you think if I go there and I try doing a one year university or something in visual arts will I get an off background to work myself ?
Make sure the fine arts training you get is in western, traditional representational drawing and painting. Many university programs do not value or teach these skills in depth. You will also want specific training in environment, character and prop design...all of this before you begin to work with computer programs. There's more, but these are important basic skills.