Has anybody seen the movie Iron Man? What about Tangled? Maybe played the game Halo? Or even just read a comic book at one time in your life?
Each of these things has something in common, a concept artist. A Concept Artist is a person whose main goal, as an artist, is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation or comic books before being placed into that final product. After many years of pondering and pursuing other goals in life, I have found the one thing I have been more passionate about than anything in my entire life. In these moments, I would like to convey reasons and references to why this is a deep passion of mine.
“You have to understand that rightly or wrongly, I consider myself an artist and I consider the work that we do art. In helping to tell stories by creating these characters. I came out as an actor. I am not a technician. I am a techno-ignorant, but I love creating characters and telling wonderful stories. Thinking of myself as an artist doesn’t allow me to think of size having to do with importance.”
Growing up, I didn’t know who Stan Winston was, but he was everywhere I looked as a kid. He helped in creating fascinating ideas of many movies of the 80’s, 90’s, and the present day. Terminator, Predator, Aliens, Jurassic Park, etc… all had these wonderfully designed creatures in them that I always enjoyed. I was always beholden to these films or creations within them. Never knowing the work it took in creating them.
After many years as a child, my fascination with Science Fiction films, Horror movies, Video Games, and comic books continued growing and I started to learn the names behind them; Names such as, Stan Winston, Steve Wang, Rob Bottin, Joe Madueira, and Jim Lee. Now, I know some, if not all of you, don’t know who these people are, but I bet you have seen some of their work and don’t even know it. I learned a great deal of information and collected many books over the years. In which I believed to be a “hobby” of mine, never a possibility of a career. As time went on, I fell into the way of life that would guide me, into the corporate world, pulling me away from art.
Back in the 90’s and early 00’s, I had been in the military or working in the corporate world at this time. During this time I continued learning more about this world of concept art. When I saw a film, I would find out who worked on it and also learn how they came up with the idea of the characters. This astonished me, the process of drawing something and then becoming a fully realized tangible object, if only on screen, was incredible.
Knowing that I am over 30 years old, being this age, scared me. In some ways it made me feel that I was too old to pursue this career. I had garnered some hope and help from friends and family over the years, trying to get me to follow in a career in art, to which I had some hesitation, a feeling of possible failure. I had all this knowledge, but I was never utilizing it, and to me an idea not used, is an idea wasted. After going through some big changes in my life over this past year, I realized something more strongly than ever before. I had eventually realized was that what I thought of as a “hobby” was truly my passion in life! The creation of designs and ideas from my mind is something I feel and think of more than anything else in my life. I now see that my life can be a world of concepts and dreams that can truly become a full bodied vision.
When I become a concept artist, I want to be an unknown but known artist like these others I have mentioned. I want to be the person that has created something others have seen, but do not know who created it. I want to have respect and renown with others in the same field. I don’t want to be rich, just happy in being a concept artist, because this is my passion!