A great concept art portfolio can be the difference between landing your dream job or not getting noticed. Whether or not your work is the best of the bunch, not putting together an attractive concept art portfolio could sabotage your chances of being hired by an established studio. As his folk art competition returns for the fifth year, we spoke to Atomhawk’s lead concept artist Dario Jelušić to get his top tips for putting your concept art portfolio together (improve your concept art skills with these inspirational drawing apps).
The Atomhawk Art Competition challenges you to test your artistry and the limits of your ideas by showing Atomhawk your ability to tell stories with a work of art. This year, participants are invited to design a character, an environment or a key moment inspired by the concept: The Return.
Remember to use the hashtag #atomhawkback to show your work. Winners will have the choice of a portfolio review or painting, and a promising artist will be chosen by the jury to earn one-on-one mentorship with a senior artist from Atomhawk. Submissions close August 7, 2021. Visit the Atomhawk website for more information.
Now read on for Jelušić’s top tips for building a winning concept art portfolio and landing your dream role in the process.
01. Quality showcase
The first and most important thing for any wallet is quality. For example, if you want to get a job in the industry, you need to have a portfolio that meets industry standards, which means the quality should be high enough that you can showcase all of the visuals and designs. ideas that you want to show and for other people who are not in the art industry to be able to understand those ideas. You still want to maintain the quality and whatever you can show off with this quality line, put it in your wallet. Basically your best job.
02. Stay focused
Your portfolio should be focused on something you like to work on. For example, if you are a horror artist and you like monsters and grainy creatures then in your portfolio you drop cute stuff and get a job drawing cute stuff and you don’t like it, i don’t think this is the best way to go. There is a balance between what you like and the type of job you want to get.
You need to make sure that your wallet looks like something that can be used in the industry. If you want to get a job at Riot, you need to check out the portfolios of the people who work at Riot. If you want to get a job at an outsourced studio like Atomhawk, the expertise is great, but the versatility helps. Each artist in our studio has their own expertise. We have an artist who can make really cool environments but who can also make vehicles. Versatility is great, but you don’t want to stretch yourself to the point of losing the quality of your work.
03. Don’t forget the basics
Fundamental knowledge, of course, needs to be seen in a portfolio. So understanding perspective, composition, values, lighting, color, anatomy and functionality. These things are really important to showcase in one way or another. Fundamentals are fundamentals, if you know anatomy you know it. When you show a character you absolutely want the anatomy to be correct and placed in 3D space and inside perspective you want to get a really nice composition.
04. Show your process
The process is a must. You want to imagine that the person looking at your portfolio doesn’t know anything about you and your work, and the only thing they can see about you and your expertise in the work you are showing. If you show a final piece that is amazing you can get interviews with that and sure enough you could get the job but it’s even better if you show how you got the end result. Show sketches, thumbnails, moodboards, work in progress, write some notes so that we understand your workflow and what your process looks like. Always, if you can, include at least the starting sketch, then the final piece. But the more the merrier, of course.
05. Tell a story
Storytelling is one of the most important things to show in characters, even if it’s just a character standing and doing nothing. Storytelling is essential. If you can get some storytelling elements in the characters or environments or some sequential images. History is really important because we have all grown up on stories and humanity as a whole has grown up on myths and legends. The entertainment industry is all about stories, cool effects, and lots of explosions, but behind it all is a strong story. So each piece should tell us some kind of story.
06. Don’t trust your grades
Personally, I don’t care about the notes because everything is visual but whatever you have written you can show it. For example, you can write: “I have an idea about this” and “I was inspired by this”, and you can display it in your mood board. If there are any notes I will try to read them but I wouldn’t say they are important. You tell stories through visuals and if you can’t tell a story with visuals, no amount of ratings will help you because, at the end of the day, you are not a writer, you are an artist.
07. Stay true to yourself
I’ve seen dozens and dozens of portfolios where there’s a bit of 2D, a bit of 3D, stylized stuff, environment stuff, a mishmash of everything and when I look at the portfolio I don’t really can’t tell what that person is all about, what the person likes. The uniqueness of being yourself is one of the best things you can do. You want people to get to know you through your work. If you are everywhere and you seem to want to appease everyone, you lose that quality, you lose that advantage, and you lose your uniqueness.
08. Balance quality and quantity
An amazing picture can take you so far. Let’s say he’s a knight on horseback and it’s amazing. Yes it’s amazing but we would love to see more, just to see if you are able to shift that level of quality from image to image, or was it just fluke? I would say a minimum of five to seven images should be in a portfolio that showcases your best work. No less than five. If a person is really good, we will look at ten images but after three or four, we can really see if that person is up to it or not. If you want to have 50 you can have 50, but we will look at a few and again if you have 50 you will still have the option of having older coins that do not represent you today. hui. Maybe just delete them and have a nice targeted package.
09. Demonstrate your technical ability
In the sketches you can show your understanding. If you are working on an environment and in the sketches there are perspective lines, vanishing points, that will tell us that you understand perspective. Or if you are working on an action scene with characters jumping and doing crazy things and we can see from the sketches that you have taken the time to understand how muscles work in different positions in 3D space, that is nice to see that you understand why these decisions were made. If you are working on a knight on horseback, take some horses from the internet and study how a horse’s skeleton works and show us these studies. With these studies, we can see your dedication, professionalism and understanding of the topics. It’s really important for us to see it.
10. Be prepared to learn
I give dozens and dozens of portfolio reviews. Out of ten people, you will see five to seven portfolios where, if that person invests a little more, they might get somewhere. After giving my feedback, I would usually tell people to get back to me within the next three to six months. Unfortunately, most people do not take advantage of this opportunity. If you think about it, the feedback can leave good impressions on the people you interview and in the long run it can help their prospects. Applying for a position over and over again if you didn’t get in the first time around can be beneficial. Just make sure you add to your wallet and make sure it’s at least a little better than last time around. If you’re ready to get the job, you should be working on it.
To learn more about the Atomhawk Art Competition and to submit your artwork by August 7, 2021, visit Atomhawk website.