When a variety of entities are in their design phases, from buildings and parks to creative works like movies and video games, a concept artist plays a vital and important role. These highly-creative individuals help sketch out ideas of how completed projects will look, which include rough drawings and outlines such as storyboards for films or cartoons, or may help architects and building designers secure bids or help advertising agencies make pitches to clients. Overall, they create concrete visualizations of ideas which can be built, developed, and improved in all sorts of ways.
While there are clearly many applications for concept artists, artistic skill is often the primary qualification. They will generally keep and update portfolios of work they have performed in the past, and these examples are typically utilized in the interview process for various positions. Many concept artists will specialize in building work, advertising development, games, cartoons, or other specific disciplines.
Also important is the ability to derive the essential elements of the concept for which they are responsible. This requires the artist to listen carefully, take notes, ask questions, and refer to design documents and rough preliminary sketches. Those in this position must have a strong understanding of the expectations for their art and tailor their work around those goals, and will share their progress with supervisors to ensure it matches what has been envisioned.
There are a variety of requirements which vary by employer for this position. Some employers hire based on demonstrated skill in a portfolio, while others prefer those with previous experience and successful bids or projects. Many concept artists seek post-secondary training, especially those who will be expected to use graphic and computer tools on the job. Those in this position generally work traditional daytime hours in a design studio environment.