Think about your favorite game, movie, or animated PSA. Imagine the visual features involved on the screen—the environment, characters, weapons, or even sophisticated vehicles that made everything feels surreal. You might find it unique because each animation appears with various styles and themes.

Those visual differences come from concept art, the foundation of animation design. It produces an idea that aims to serve as the point of reference that illustrators and animators use throughout the process.

Has it ever crossed your mind, who does all the concept designing duties? To help with your curiosity, the concept artist did it.

However, what a concept artist is? What does a concept artist produce? What does it take to be a good concept artist? This article will guide you to a deeper understanding of a concept artist’s job and requirements.

Unveiling the Role and Skill of a Concept Artist!

What Does a Concept Artist Do?

A concept artist is a designer who develops artwork previsualization for a project related to animation design. Concept artists are divided by the type of art they create: environment, characters, props, weapons, or vehicles.

Concept artists are responsible for building a consistent look and feel of animation styles by interpreting the design brief given by clients. They use computer software, and hand-drawn, or painting mediums in the design process.

Whether concept artists work separately as freelancers or as part of an animation studio, they always work closely with directors and producers to create concept art that depicts their values for a particular project.

Now, what does concept art mean?

Concept art is best defined as the first exploration of look, feel, and style. It sets the tone and visual style of a project, which the creative division uses as the prime reference in the production process.

Below is an example of Concept Art developed by Superpixel for Mandai Ranger Buddies. 

What Does a Concept Artist Do?


To turn an idea into high-quality artwork, concept artists should master visual storytelling skills. It is an ability to bring characters and the environment written on the page to life.

However, visual storytelling is not the only skill a concept artist must possess. More qualifications build a good concept artist.

Also read: Concept Art Character: Definition, Importance, and How to Create

What Skills Are Required To Be a Good Concept Artist?

Below are some skills that a good concept artist must possess:

1. Imagination and Creativity

First and foremost, a concept artist must be able to transform the design brief to life as visual elements. It could be either simple or complex, but the most important thing is the artist follow the development and refinement process until the final design is approved.

2. Drawing and Painting Skills

Next, a good concept artist must also be able to create detailed drawings or paintings to create a high-quality sketch. They can use hand-drawn mediums or digital tools such as Photoshop, Maya, Painter, and SketchUp.

Not only do they master a variety of traditional and technological mediums to create designs, but concept artists must also understand the basics of 2D and 3D drawing. The basics of 2D and 3D drawing are as follows: Anatomy, Perspective, Composition, Lighting, and Colour Grading.

3. Vast Knowledge of Animation

Next, a concept designer must have a wide range of interests in animation-based audiovisual content. It would be an advantage in their duty to create a foundation for animated projects.

Understanding the world of animation would help concept artists obtain style references and decide which medium works best on a particular project.

4. Work Ethics and Good Communication Skills

Last but not least, a good concept designer must possess a strong work ethic and excellent communication skills.

The work ethic will guide the concept artist to positive performance, such as responsibility toward the deadline and maintaining a decent relationship with the client. On the other side, good communication skills would help a concept artist pitch ideas clearly to the client and the design team.

What Differs between a Concept Artist and a Character Designer?

A concept artist is responsible for visualizing ideas into rough sketches of creative assets, such as characters, creatures, vehicles, and environments. On the other hand, we also know that the character designer creates the character’s gestures, outfits, facial expressions, and body movements.

If so, what differentiates a concept artist from a character designer?

Both concept artists and character designers require creativity in doing their job to bring pieces of art to life. However, there is a subtle difference in the focus of each job’s duty. 

While the concept artist is responsible for creating a rough sketch of a character, the character designer would turn that sketch into a more concrete image.

For example, look at character development made by the concept artist and character designer of Superpixel on a project with Sentosa Merlion Content Revamp.

What Differs between a Concept Artist and a Character Designer?


From the picture above, you can see that the concept artist had created rough assets for the project, such as the character, creatures, vehicle, and scenery. Then, the character designer developed each character’s appearance with different costumes, postures, and facial expressions, as seen in the picture below.

What Differs between a Concept Artist and a Character Designer?


Further, character designers and concept artists are differentiated based on the scope of both jobs’ duties. While the character designer focuses only on character imagery and development, a concept artist may work on other things, such as video game scenery or vehicle design for the automotive industry.

Work With The Best Concept Artist to Elevate Your Ideas

As the heart and soul of animation, concept art that works would be reliable as a good starting point for your project.

To create concept art that suits your imagination, all you need is a professional concept artist who listens to your thoughts and makes a beautiful visualisation out of them. Surrounded by the best creatives and collaborators, Superpixel Animation Studio is ready to help elevate your ideas and turn them into engaging visual artworks.

Not only will you work with our best concept artist, we believe strongly in the power of communication and maintaining a good relationship with our clients. Hence, every project we handle will rely on the client’s visions, goals, and feedback.

Ready to put your thoughts into beautiful masterpieces? Hit us up to initiate a project and share your objectives.