Concept Artists in the Gaming Industry

The artistic concept is one of the main directions in developing gaming products. Artists allow videograms to achieve the necessary fit for the setting, brightness, and personality. This specialist comes up with the general visual concept of the future successful game and works out in detail the images of the characters and the game space. It sounds trite, but concept art is a very important stage in almost any game—this visual design of your idea and direct instruction for creating in-game art.

What Is Concept Art?

Concept art is an image designed to convey to the player the game’s main idea, laid down by the narrative and game designers. Concepts are used in movies, animations, and other visual content. The history of the term “Concept art” began in the 30s of the XX century in the Disney animation studio. At the same time, conceptual design has spread to the automotive industry. With the advent of computer technology, it has reached a new level in the virtual world. The concept artist has become a full-fledged profession with in-demand specialists, whose vacancies are always popular among creative people.

Video Game Artwork

The work of a concept artist, with all the requirements for an artistic base and painting skills, provides for the possession of the necessary software, graphics tablets, and the basics of programming. The technology for rendering visual content involves creating images of characters and locations at the sketch level. And then rough drawing and rendering in special programs. The drawings created simultaneously are used as visual material for a future project for demonstrating potential investors and 3D modeling and promotional materials. Creating digital art  for any game character is extremely complex and lengthy.

Types Of Game Artists

​The concept artist and video game designer is the most well-known and desired type for most artists who try their hand at the game industry and take their first steps. Everyone wants to draw concepts (especially character designs). Types of video game designers:

  • Character artis (character development)
  • Virtual environments artist – creates locations, visual elements, dynamic composition landscapes, and objects;
  • The interface artist is a rarer and less well-known species. Not everyone knows that these artists exist.
  • The lead artist is the most competent, a manager who designs the style of the game. It’s good if the lead can direct the artists in a team.

And often artists go beyond one style and create a certain mix of styles, art forms using special artistic modifications.

Game Design and Video Game Art Creation

Game design studies the main concepts, the game world, gameplay, characters, and content creation, including text and sound.

Only those who play video games a lot and understand the genres of games and their features can become game designers. By playing video games, artists also gain experience and notice important elements for themselves and future work. You need to understand the genres and mechanics of games, understand monetization models and work with game balance, delve into analytics and monitor the market. As an example, all designers and artists have gone through this path in the direction of game art outsourcing Since the works are of different types, the experience, art examples and understanding of the setting of all popular and not only games will be an indispensable tool for creating a true work of art.

A programmer can also create a game design with sufficient gaming experience. But high-quality graphics still usually require developed skills in a completely different area.

The Role Of Artist In The Gaming Industry

Because video game art is a relatively new field, people tend to have a lot of misconceptions about what a game artist does.

Modern art is a very important part of selling games. Game art world and visuals are the first impressions we get from games. For many games, they are the basis of sales. They are perhaps as important as the gameplay itself.

A game without art will look like traditional DOS and text-based games, but even those have aesthetic and unique basic elements. Likewise, architecture (or level design) cannot be done without artistic skills and special art style.

Game artists are thus critical to the process of creating games. They are responsible for creating 2D and 3D graphics for visual elements in video games. In addition, they work on components such as basic shapes of characters, textures, flowers, curved lines,light, objects, and environments. Although it is based on digital art, the ability to create freehand sketches is a very important skill for implementing many tasks.

Game artists imagine and visualize what the game will look like. They choose the colors, design the characters, create the textures, and develop the concept of the levels. They may also work on promotional materials and website designs to attract as many players as possible.

The work that an artist performs depends on his specialization. These specializations are not mutually exclusive. Some tasks may require a combination of different skills. Very often, artists are trained in several professions. Larger studios prefer exclusively specialized professionals, while smaller studios try to recruit generalists.

Where to look for artists: services cost

There are no uniform prices for the services of artists, so you have to start with how much time it takes to work. Then everything depends on the artist’s requests and the ability to negotiate.

Preparing the concept of one character or unit on freelance takes about 36 hours on average. If we talk about the location concept for the 2D quest, the time will depend on the content in the scene – count on 5-15 days. For games of the Hidden Object genre, the time increases to three weeks: two for drawing the background, the rest for objects.

Another option is to negotiate a piece-rate payment for a set of sketches or unique concept art. More expensive does not always mean better, so evaluate artists by portfolio and look for a price-quality compromise.

When you’re looking for a concept artist for a small project, it’s important to pay attention to whether their style matches the setting of your game. For example, if you are creating a sci-fi world for two games, and the artist’s portfolio has a noticeable preponderance of fantasy, it most likely does not suit you.


It is important to keep in mind that there is a lot of overlap between different specializations in the game arts. For example, an artist can be skilled in 3D modeling and maintain this skill through rigging and animation. Also, they can create textures using their skills in 2D graphics. Game development, in general, is an interdisciplinary field. It is also important to understand that the more practical benefit, the better the result.

There is always something to learn, giving more opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. Finding people who compliment your strengths with their own can lead to the existing video games.


What is game art?

Art, or graphics as we usually call it, is the visual component of a game called game art. In turn, digital art is a sphere in which, on the one hand, creativity and creativity are embodied and, on the other, a set of functions..

What is the most popular game art style?

In the modern world of game design, there are several most popular art styles:

  • Comics and anime
  • Pixel art
  • Low Poly
  • Author’s styling (unique and often unlike anything else style)

There are still quite a few other styles. Even the most obscure and not popular can have at least three games.

What kind of art is gaming?

Gaming is considered art. Video games are one of the main directions in the field of entertainment. Games create their world without restrictions, which, along with the classical kinds of art, confidently take their place of honor.

How do I make my own game art?

Today it is very easy to do this. You can create game art directly on paper with a pencil or paints and then transfer the art to digital devices. As a rule, at the initial stage, it is enough to be able to draw with individual styles, and already at the professional level, additional resources, artistic modification (tablets/devices) and knowledge will be needed.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]