I have been reading like mad to try and understand the industry I'm heading toward. Concept art in the game art design industry, specifically.
The one thing I want to do with my life in particular is be a fantastic artist. I'm going to work in concept art because I love creating. I'm good at character design. I have a knack for working quickly and efficiently.
But what I keep seeing around is : Traditional art skills required.
I'm in love with digital art. I love being a digital artist and I really hate traditional mediums for the most part.
Yet again, I keep seeing it everywhere on job offers: Traditional art skills necessary.
Is is really true that all these big companies still feel you have to be good with pens and markers to be a concept artist? Are digital artworks still not allowed in the industry? I mean... I see concept art from major companies that I'm usually pretty sure is digital all the time. I also see a lot of marker/pen art...
And to be fair, I don't even mind using pens and markers sometimes. It's just that what I know I really want to do in my life the most is create digital artwork.
So ... anyone able to comment on this topic please?
Because sometimes, people want something they can touch?
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
If you can't draw on paper, you won't be able to draw on a tablet-not for real. That simple.
MiniGoth: WOW ... totally not true. I DO draw on a tablet and I am WAY WAY better on a tablet than I am with pencils and paper. I just have a knack for it. I mean... such a blanket statement is really not true. o_o
And as for the hardware and software... I bring it to the table myself. I have a laptop with Adobe CS4 loaded on it, a Wacon Intuos4 professional tablet, medium sized, Paint Tool Sai, a desktop at home with both programs also and I can take this with me to a meeting.
I just hate to think I won't be able to do the kind of art I love most ...
This isn't the only thing I can do, but it is what I truly love best.
I think the biggest problem for a future employer is they want tangible proof that you can do what you say without any effects or photoshop trickery. If they invest in you they want physical proof you are what you say you are.
A lot of concept art is about communicating on the fly with thumbnails and roughs in meetings and being able to convey an idea there and then. In the end you are selling an idea from one dept to another whether its a pitch or showing an artist what the art director wants.
You also can't have a fragile ego in this kind of career, you will have lots of criticism and feedback and work doctored and altered not neccessarily to your own tastes. You are a cypher for someone else's idea.
I think you really need to show some examples of work to get a grasp of where you are coming from.
'Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends' Francis Bacon
Traditional art skills doesn not necessarily = traditional mediums, although, statistically, people who have a traditional art background and training are far more likely to have those skills than someone who's been sitting at home with a pirated copy of Photoshop since they were thirteen.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
My experience, from at first scanning linework and painting over it digitally to now doing everything with either ink or watercolor on paper, is that traditional artwork teaches you how to deal with limits.
Digitally I could make a stroke, undo it, remake it, repeat for eternity. With ink, I have one shot. Digitally I could play with my color scheme endlessly. With watercolor I patiently paint thin washes of color in order to build up the ideal color scheme.
One who has only digital skills can get lost in a sea of choices. One with traditional skills can fly like a dart to its target.
Not that there aren't digital artists who have achieved the sort of skills traditional artists obtain, but they are few and far between. Why not try a traditional medium? It will teach you invaluable insights.
And as Elwell said, using a traditional medium to learn traditional skills doesn't mean you can't go back to digital. Usually, as far as the game industry goes, the benefit of traditional skills is to augment digital skills.
-My work can be found at my local directory thread.
I don't know if the "can't touch it" argument is such a good one though. Beside regular prints, with some imagination and some faith in science I can see how perhaps during the next couple of decades people will end up with digital works in their hands that have some actual marks and brushstrokes made in the software.
And what Anid Maro said above. My feeling is that digital is like driving a car and traditional more like riding a horse.
I have yet to meet someone who can draw accurately with a tablet that can't draw with a pencil and paper. Since the concepts of proportion, volume, etc. are exactly the same unless said person is just ripping photos or doing paintovers, I'm calling bullshit.
majorly this would be a reason I guess. Many people try to get away with photomanip(which in itself is an art) as their original artworks.ripping photos or doing paintovers
They want to see what you can do withoutm burn, dodge, filters and lensflare.
In trad. medium even if you copied a photo, it would still require some skills.
QFT, traditional skills doesnt have all that much to do with traditional medium.Traditional art skills = being able to actually draw and paint, understanding form, perspective, anatomy, composition, color, etc: not being just a software jockey.
Of course I have no idea how you draw and this might not apply to you. Since a majority of newer artists seem to have this problem, though, it's definitely something to watch out for.
I can understand you wanting to develop your skills on the computer over traditional media, but, wow.. to say you hate it! I'm admittedly not very good, but I find nothing more therapeutic than sitting down to a good painting, not to mention the hours of scribbling in notebooks during class..
I don't know.. I've always thought of traditional media as something that goes hand-in-hand with digital art, even if you don't choose to specialise in it. What if your computer breaks down; would you be unable to do anything?
What Elwell said. When I've seen "traditional skills" on job descriptions it usually means traditional art training, in other words, do you know your fundamentals. Because if you do, you'll probably be able to handle anything they throw at you, even if it's stuff you haven't done before.
Can you, for instance, show a portfolio that consists of at least two-thirds life drawing? (I mean, really solid life drawing?) Because traditional work like that often seems to be a more important requirement for concept art positions than a lot of slick fantasy Photoshoppery.
I use life drawing as an example, since it's a portfolio requirement I've seen from various companies before - specific jobs may have other specific requirements. But the basic principle is generally to prove that you've mastered the basics, i.e., what is known as "traditional art skills". It doesn't mean specifically "markers and ink" or any other particular medium unless they say so.
The lack of understanding the meaning of traditional skills shows a lack of education, either by self, formal, or through mail-order course. Knowledge is important & comprehension is next to composition...a necessity.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
...also I don't see how anyone can be "way way better" with a tablet than with pencil and paper. If you can draw WELL on a tablet, then you can draw well with anything. Especially a pencil, simplest tool in the world...
If there really is such a huge gap between "tablet" and "pencil", that does suggest that the fundamental drawing skill is lacking and is being compensated for with digital "slickness" or shortcuts... Though of course with no art to see, we can't tell.
You will change your opinion. I guarantee you. Right now you reject traditional mediums, but this is the most normal and common human reaction. You don't want to do it just because everyone tells you how much it will help you. When the time comes you will understand it yourself. It's that kind of lesson that you learn the hard way. It's natural to be resistant, so I will not flame you or anything. Just think about this for a moment - everyone says that traditional mediums are very important for your development as an artist. Obviously, they can't all be wrong. There are very skilled and professional artists in this thread (I'm not one of them of course) who are not just making "blank statements". When they tell you that traditional mediums are important it's not because they read it in a book. It's what helped them become professionals. I completely understand the urge to resist and rebel, but I would listen to those who are clearly more experienced than me.
Sorry guys. I've had a cold and slept in today.
Let me start re-addressing this by expressing a few things that have come up in conversation since you guys don't know me.
First off, I'm not a young idiot artist who thinks they know everything. I'm here asking questions because I have much to learn. Please don't be so terse with me as if I were shouting to the world "I already know everything and you guys don't!" I'm not like this. I'm here to learn.
Secondly, I really do hate drawing with graphite and charcoal. My hand loves the feel of my Intuos pen and the way it glides on the tablet. I am not lying when I say that even just for sketching, I am way more comfortable using this than a pencil. I can sketch with a pencil, sure. I'm just saying I like the tablet more and what I create comes out better, to me, than with pencils. When I am using my tablet to sketch, I can set my guidelines on a layer and then set the sketch on a layer above so I don't have to see the guidelines in the finished work if the sketch goes on to something bigger. That said, I have a heavy hand with pencils and always have, so maybe I'm enjoying the layers party due to the fact I've always hated the way my pencil drawings come out.
That said, I am lacking in a lot of experience with traditional art. YES. I am because I have been studying DIGITAL art for years now. And no I'm not the greatest artist in the world digitally, but I have learned quite a lot this year alone. I have really decided to focus myself in this direction and I am leaving behind my juvenile attempts such as my anime style and learning from a traditional standpoint. That is really important to me. I am seeking a real art education. I am enrolled in an art college and I'm really giving it my all.
But in regards to where it has been said above: I do NOT use photoshop trickery in my work. Like all digital artists, I did when I started out. Long ago though, I learned that I was never as satisfied with a piece that utilized filters and some of the more out-there tools as I was with one that was really more like I did a traditional work on the computer.
What I do now is like until painting, but on the computer. And I prefer it this way. As of this year, I never never use a photoshop trick. I Do not use DODGE tool or BURN tool, or SMUDGE or Filters and lens flares. I DO NOT. I simply don't enjoy the feeling of creating something with those kinds of tricks used. I enjoy creating something I can look at and say "I made this. All me."
Which is why I'm now really focusing upon my painting style because I've been studying painting from a traditional standpoint and the digital painting is really improving from it.
Yes that's my gallery and I would have been glad to post it but this conversation kinda took off while I was out of it today. If you look at the featured gallery and the traditional folder I added last night, you can see where my more recent work is going. In the featured or digital painting gallery you can see a lot of my recent work and NONE of it has any tricks in it. I did everything by hand down to drawing the pattern on Lady Nihasa's curtains myself. Everyone initially imagined I'd used a pattern that I'd just found somewhere because yes, people do that in digital art, but NO, I didn't. I like doing the work by hand and then afterward I KNOW I am the one that made this completely.
The only real differences are the feeling of the tools in the hands, and the undo key.
Yes, digital artists get a better chance to fix things, but since I'm LEARNING... this usually is a good thing. It means that rather than going forward through the second half of the painting with a flaw from one mis-step, I can do it again until I get it right and then continue.
That said, my Deviant art account there is only 2 years old because I swapped from an old account years ago after a falling out with my old art crowd. I have been working on my art for about 10 years now in total. I'm 25, in college at AIPO (which I'm still looking for more information on but have seen improvement there none the less) and I'm serious about entering the concept art industry. I'm serious about making my future and I'm not just a joke kid that isn't listening to the advice given. I seriously appreciate the advice.
I'm not saying even that I abhor the idea of using traditional mediums in my work in the future, or that I won't be okay with a pencil and markers and sitting around tossing ideas up on the walls. That said, I think some people here are being overly critical of the idea of being a digital concept artist.
How can I toss ideas around the room? You're right. That's ONE thing I can't necessarily do the same way. But it's not impossible. Give it a few more years and technology may answer that problem. Also, a projector would work, if one was available. Just a thought.
But I CAN sit down with a pencil and markers and make it through meetings that way. What I'm concerned about is not "Will I have to do trad art?" It's "Will I ever be able to do digital art also?"
So the thing is... if I can do those meetings in the traditional way, fine. When I get the job, start working with the company... Can I sit down with my tablet and do the bulk of my concept art that way? Print it out, hand it around.. no problem. But I'd like to be able to use my digital skills to craft a lot of my work. It's just what I love.
And it doesn't take long to pull out a laptop, pop it open, plug in a tablet and start working. No longer than it takes to pull out a sketchbook and a zipper case, open both and pull out pencils and start working. Really. I carry my tablet and laptop around often to draw and sketch and I know it doesn't really stand to hold a major difference.
So with all of that said... again, I appreciate all of the advice.
Elwell, I really appreciate your post. Traditional art skills ... not traditional mediums. Yes. I really realize that now. And you're right.
So my worries in the initial post are kinda solved.
But I'm not afraid to try traditional mediums. I'm currently learning graphite and charcoal and yes I hate them so far. Some of the results are interesting, but the process is just awful to me. It's not my cup of tea. Everything can't be everyone's favorite.
I have yet to get into a fundamentals class on painting or other trad mediums, but it's not like I've never tried it. I generally didn't enjoy painting on canvas as much as a digital canvas. Again, no tricks used... I just like the flow of my tools and I have learned my digital workspace better. Maybe all this means is that as I explore traditional mediums further and further, I may change my mind. But for now, I still feel as I do.
And no, SouMeng, I am not reluctant to dabble out of lazyness or apprehension. I am reluctant because I have dabbled with it in the past and didn't enjoy it near so much as I enjoy my digital medium.
And yes, I do agree that my digital work will benefit from my traditional training.
Also, I'd argue that traditional art is like riding a horse, and digital art is like riding a whole different horse. Or maybe a different animal.
People who think there's no effort to digital art... I usually find they haven't really tried it. It's not magically easy to paint digitally and if you don't know the basics of painting, it doesn't magically work itself out for you on the computer. Sure, if you use a lot of tricks, you might seem to be able to paint better digitally than you would be able to with a canvas and brush. But again, I'm talking from a standpoint of NOT using the tricks.
Anyway... Thank you for all the advice and information so far. I want to get to know this forum of people and I want to become better known. Hopefully, you guys will get to know me some too. I'd like that.
Thank you very much for your post. And no, I'm not really wanting to resist the traditional mediums all together. My original intent in this post wasn't "I HATE TRAD! NOT GONNA DO IT!" ... it was more that I was wondering, from what I've seen, if my favorite medium (so far) is going to be usable in this field. It was a rather simple question originally...
But no, I really do want to try out the various mediums. I want to learn basics and fundamentals. I want to know I can do it all by hand and I want to transfer that knowledge to my digital work. I will do the best I can to learn all of these things so I can be a well-rounded artist.
dpaint and Jovian... I can't make out if you're making fun of my art, but if so... is that really necessary? I didn't come in here claiming to be the best artist in the world. I'm a student. I'm learning... and I've been at it a decade, but I still have so much to learn. Never said differently.
Arsieiuni, is that actually your DA page? If so, there's a splash of cold, cold reality headed your way.
Minigoth: What is that supposed to mean? Yes it's my DA page.
I've looked at the page. The thing is, there''s very little understanding of form, volume, structure, light, proportion, etc. in those images.
That has absolutely nothing to do with preferred medium, you're just there yet in terms of craft. Those are the 'traditional skills' that will or won't land you a job.
You can learn them, if you choose.
Minigoth: Of course! That's what I'm working on now in school.
I tried for years to draw and paint and finally realized what was missing. Fundamentals! Basics!
Look, I'm not about to get a cold splash of reality. I already got it! Earlier this year I realized I was not going to be able to keep progressing without laying a foundation and that's what I'm studying NOW. That's why I'm in college and suddenly learning traditional mediums I never touched.
Asking questions about the industry I'm heading towards is just planning for the future. I know I'm not there yet, okay?
Thank you for the opinion. I know I need to work on all of the things you mentioned. Don't know if you read my long post above, but I never said I was ready to go into the industry today! I'm hoping with a couple years of college I can learn the fundamentals that I have been lacking and can improve to an entry-level.
Hey, it may take longer than that. I'm serious about learning, and doing what I have to to succeed. Beyond that, I'm a very quick learner. I think I can learn the basics and apply them to what I've accomplished otherwise... and then I will be on my way to a successful career in art.
But I know I'm not there yet. I never said I was.
Thank you for the feedback. Truly.
Look at Algenpfleger's sketchbook http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=114449
Just like you he started with digital. I'll quote him:
"While i always did a bit of sketching in and for school, the common stuff like doodling on your books, and a bit of manga-style crap, it wasn't until July of 2007 that I started taking art seriously. Around that time, someone showed me the world of Digital Painting, and i was off the hook, beholding the vast mass of inspiration.
So i spent the last five months learning to paint, and working with light and color.
Well, I found out that all of this is completely useless without basics, and I saw that anatomy is what I have to learn. So today i put my tablet aside, said to myself "Dude, you need to get better, start over", took my pencils and started studying some serious stuff."
Just browse the hyper-long thread and see how traditional skills helped him with his digital art. His sketchbook is worth a thousand words. Sometimes when I feel lack of motivation to do studies I just browse his sketchbook and it becomes very obvious how traditional skill can really help you.
Vari: Again, thank you SO much for your post.
I really see your point and I've been in school for this very reason. I know I need foundations to be able to move forward in my art. I don't think I am a terrible artist though or that I have no potential. I think I am talented in visualizing concepts and coming up with ideas. I believe I can learn the necessary foundations and that I can create great art some day!
I'm not there yet!
I really appreciate the link. I'll look through his thread.
I'm now also turning my eyes toward other BA's than the one I'm currently pursuing. I am enrolled in the Game Art Design program at Art Institute of Pittsburg online, but this past week I started looking at the course catalog again and I really don't see more than one more fundamentals class in my whole course after my current drawing 101 course. I'm really not cool with that because so far I've taken one course in Perspective 101 and all that's left is color theory.
So now... I want to find another school I can afford (through Pell Grant/Scholarships/Student Loans whatever available means) and see about getting into a fine arts degree or at least a degree with some more foundational work than this course.
I welcome suggestions for fully online art schools that are affordable fully off of Financial Aid with a Fine Arts degree. I looked into the Academy of Art online. Not sure what that one is yet though, just requested info.
I'd look into TAD but I think it's on the more expensive end?
I live near Smith Lake in Alabama and there is no brick-and-mortar institution within 100 miles of me. So online is my only option.
But I also can't afford a school where the tuition is so high that I can't cover it between Financial aid options. I just can't at this point. So I have to find the right place.
That said, YES people... I realize I need more learning in the foundations.
I really appreciate this thread.
When you nail those skills, you'll be able to do it on a tablet or on paper, on the back of a placemat, whatever.
As a concept artist, you'll be called on to do sketches in client meetings, often when setting up a system just won't be practical. For this kind of thing, you don't need prettily rendered paintings, but you will need to be able to pull things like undead cowboy or minotaur in a space suit convincingly out of nowhere.
That's bloody hard to do.