I really need help with getting some direction.
I finished school 2 years ago and have been working full time to earn some money and build my folio since then.
I really want to become a concept artist in the games industry.
I have cut my job hours back down to one day a week to make room for school, but I really don't know where to go.
I live in Melbourne and I haven't come across a course yet where I have thought it would be perfect for me.
Does anyone have any suggestions on courses I can take that will help me further my studies towards a future concept artist?
To my knowledge becoming a conceptual artist required extremely strong artistic knowledge, and very little technical, so I'd suggest taking up the Fine Arts degree in RMIT. Their program structure seems to be great for traditional artists whilst giving the students a few options to take up subjects in video, animation, sound and more for some electives.
Link to the degree: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=BP201
Link to the degree's structure: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse/;CURPOS=1?programCode=%3F&STYPE=ENTIRE&QR…)
I was just last night running some predictions on the current unemployment rate in the industry based off rates of job loss and new entrants into the industry from game-specific courses, not including animation, business, software engineering, etc. Even assuming 100% employment at the peak and no dedicated entrants from non-game-specific courses... the numbers are staggering. The only boon being I couldn't account for those that have abandoned the industry. On top of that, concept art positions are rare and highly sought-after.
That said, the goal is not impossible. You see the position advertised locally here on tsumea occasionally. I think Tipatlong has offered some good advice on what is worth studying. Learning traditional art skills will be your best choice, while practicing your speed-painting and specific things such as turn-arounds in your spare time. Most game-specific courses are rather poor, so I'd stay away from them generally.
Why don't you send an email to people who are already successful concept artists and ask them for advice. Here I will help you chase some names - Luke Kopycinski, Min Yum, Andrew Lay.
I'm sure if you are really nice and contact them for advice they might help you out.
Unless you have prior experience in a games company, your CV isn't going to be particularly relevant, it's all about your skills. TBH, having a relevant degree is NOT going to put you ahead, unless you are not very motivated personally to put together an amazing portfolio.
Art directors will be focusing on your 'folio.
Clearly, having strong drawing skills is non-negotiable, but you also need to demonstrate understanding of:
- Story telling (having good story boards is a huge plus)
- Game Camera
- Mood etc
Being able to show a range is really important too, not just having a bunch of variations on the same theme (i.e. pretty Manga girls you like to draw). To help yourself stand out from the crowd, DO NOT include the following in your book :
Girls With Big Tits; Barbarians Wielding Axes, Covered in Blood; Aliens; Space Ships; Gangsters Getting Shot in the Face; Orcs; Giant Robots; and, of course, Postapocalyptic Wastelands.
All these things are kind of yawn inducing, so come up with something really fresh and people will take notice.