How to become a concept artist (and what to do once you've made it)

concept artist
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Are you sure you want to be a concept artist? After all, concept artists don’t get to draw whatever they want. They don’t even get to draw famous characters very often – if ever. Plus, most of their drawings will never see the light of day. 

Disappointed? Hold up, there’s more. Concept artists don’t spend all their time playing video games. They don’t generally hang out on film sets of the latest 3D movies or hang around with big-name actors. They don’t live especially glamorous lives. They’re not really famous. They’re not really rich. Concept art is repetitive, it's labour-intensive. It is hard to get good at and harder to get a job in. In fact, you could even argue concept art isn’t really art. But it's also a pretty incredible job, and plenty of people want to get into it. 

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Donglu works at WB Games Montreal as a lead concept artist. Previously she’s helped develop titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Far Cry 4.