When I started the course I really wanted to be a concept artist as a job, and that’s still a position that is very fascinating to me now that my understanding of what a concept artist actually does is more accurate. I am not really sure what I want to specialise in at all but I’ll just keep doing the things I like to do and see what happens I suppose.
So even if I am not a paid concept artist, I should do concepting for my own work and uni work. A concept is an abstract notion or idea, and putting that on paper to visualise for others is what concepting is. Writing out an idea for yourself is well and good, but words can have many different meanings to different people and as such an idea communicated in words will look completely different in different people’s heads. So the clearest way to communicate an idea is with images, and that’s why being able to draw is a valuable tool.
Here are some things I think are important for concepting and planning:
- Always have a brief:
For the coursework there is usually a brief to work towards and requirements to meet, but if a brief is open or I’m setting a project for myself, I should sit down and plan what it is I am going to design and what technical and artistic goals it is I want to meet.
- Do research (but don't go fuckin mad):
I should explore my subject matter, look for references and read up on things. It might let me discover ideas and solutions that I wouldn’t have come up with if I’d just started working from what I know. Collecting good reference is also important because the human brain does not store all the details that I need to visualise something convincingly; the human brain stores visual information in simplified icons and it’ll be those preconceived icons we’ll draw from when we just work from our head.
I find putting together moodboards and printing them out and hanging them around my workspace really works for me. And then I like to decorate my walls with old moodboards. On the other hand I really just need to stop myself from doing research sometimes, or I wouldn't get much work done.
- Start out quick and small:
If the composition doesn’t read well as a greyscale sketch the size of a postage stamp it won’t work as an A1 full colour digipaint shiny poster either. Instead of wating time on solutions that won’t really work, I should do all my early concepting and explorations on media that I can work with quickly so that I can discard solutions that are poor and still not loose much time. For a potential employer, my time is their money so the less time I spend on a crappy sketch that won’t lead anywhere, the better.
- Be critical of your work:
As I progress trough a project, I should set aside time to stop and think about what I am doing, and evaluate myself and my work. Maybe ask others to take a look at it and ask what they think, too. I am not very good at evaluating myself, usually that lapses into self-loathing frustration so that's something I need to work on.
- Build on the foundations:
- Build on the foundations:
Artforms have a basic set of foundations of which they are built upon. For drawing, these are the five Ps; Proportion, Placement, Perspective, Planes and Patterns, and the five Cs; Conception, Construction, Contour, Character and Consistency. I’ll need all of these to create a convincing and believeable image.
So that's nice.
Oh yeah and also I drew a fairy-princess-dragon-elf with spiky panties for you, she is very saucy