An example of a concept art.

Hi, fellow creative souls! In this article we’re going to talk about Concept Art, that foundation which aligns all creatives and creative work in the media industry. First though, what is concept art?

Concept art is the overall artistic vision for a certain project, whether it’s a movie, video game, animation, comic, or any other media in the media industry. Every single image, character, merchandise, and marketing visual adheres to the concept art of the project. A single video game, for example, might require anything from 2–100 (or more) artists coming together to create that product. Before taking the first step, all those artists will need to be briefed and aligned with the concept art.

A concept artist, then, is someone who brings ideas, stories, worlds, to life through visuals. Concept artists are often asked to visualize scenes from a book, create new characters, creatures and environments from scratch, and also design props and assets used in those worlds.

A Bit of History

It is commonly acknowledged that the term “concept art” itself was first used by Walt Disney Animation Studios as early as the 1930s. Two of Disney’s most iconic concept artists are Mary Blair (1911–1978) and Eyvind Earle (1916–2000). Mary Blair is the hand behind Cinderella, Peter Pan, and and Alice in Wonderland, while Eyvind Earle was credited for the highly acclaimed Sleeping Beauty.

Concept Art Styles

The styles of a concept artist often varies according to the style of the studio or project they are employed at. However, concept artists still have some room to experiment with their personal styles. The more types a concept artist is able to create, the more highly valued the artist is. While there are many general concept artists, a lot of freelancers are also highly specialized in certain niches. Creatures/monsters, characters, and environments are some of the possible industry specialties.

The salary of an experienced and talented concept artist is usually quite high, the creative work involved is rewarding, and the opportunity to make a legacy through your art and projects is surely attractive to any aspiring artist. In the next article, we’ll talk more about what steps to take if you are interested to become a concept artist!