Who are you then?
Hello! I’m Claire and I’m a Lead Artist at Well Played Games.
I’ve worked in games as an artist for 11 years and have had the chance to put my art in a wide variety of projects, from realistic console games to cartoon mobile games, which has made me very much a generalist artist. This means I often get to work on a bit of everything, 3D, 2D, Environments, Characters, UI, Shaders, Effects with the odd bit of animation thrown in too. The role of a Lead Artist also includes style direction, team management and art scheduling of a project (the more boring bit, let’s be honest).
So, what is it you actually do, day to day?
Working at a smaller studio means it can be very varied, covering lots of areas, which is what I love! It could be reference gathering, researching the I.P, looking into example art styles, prototyping in engine, creating and reviewing assets, planning the art teams schedule for the project, playing and testing the game, interviewing potential new artists or creating outsource documents for contract artists.
So what if I want to make art stuff for games?
Most junior artists start out being more specialised, so environments, or characters perhaps for those who like their art to be 3D, those stuck in more of a 2-Dimensional world could favour UI or concept art and those who enjoy making explosions and sparkles or bringing things to life Frankenstein style could be effects artists or animators. Although it helps to be flexible with your art skills, especially for smaller studios, who benefit from generalists, a junior artist focusing on one area and nailing it, whilst showing an interest and potential in other areas is a great move.
Ok great, I’ve decided I want to be an artist, where should I start?
Good choice! It’s the best games discipline, obviously. There are lots of places you could find great tutorials for 3D, 2D, Animation, Effects etc. A good start would be picking some software to use and searching for tutorials based on that. There are also lots of college and university courses for game art these days, along with online courses. The most important thing however, is to have a passion for the art you want to make, it’s a competitive industry and those with the drive and ambition have that reflected in their work.
Thanks for that insight, Claire. I hope you guys are enjoying these looks at the various roles which go into making videogames. If you have any questions for any of the guests who’ve posted, or would like to know more about a specific role then get in touch. You can leave a comment here, mail [email protected] or use our Facebook page.