Careers

Doing what you love for a living is important right? Well you can do that with digital art! There are so many different types of careers you can choose from. I’ll list a couple and explain them briefly with some fun examples.

Come on… imagine working for any of these companies! Or…. you can even start up your own new company!

Possible Careers

Concept Artist

Artists who are responsible for the style and look of a game. They are the first to draw the environments and characters. Working with a brief from the producer, their sketches are used to help 3D artists, producers, programmers and publishers understand how the game or movie will look.

Character Designer

An artist who comes up with character concepts, stories and appearance. They work from descriptions given from the director. They include notes on a character’s personality as well as physical traits. They communicate the characters’ personalities through artwork of facial expressions and physical poses.

Character Artist

The artist who makes more elaborate artwork of an already-designed character for the project. They create and draw the visual elements of a computer game like characters, environments, vehicles, weapons and other props.

Character Modeler

Using the artistic ability and computer savviness to create and modify characters for videogames, animations and simulations. A majority of them work in 3-D. You can sculpt in 3D or build from polygonal shapes. 3D Pixar characters are examples of character models!

Character Animator

A character animation makes a character move in a 2D or 3D space for games, film and animation. Basically they prevent every character to be permanently t-posed for the entire project. This job requires to work with keyframes, which are start and end points for animations.

Environment Artist/Modeler

Using artistic ability and computer savviness to create and build environments for videogames, animation and simulation. Basically people who make the pretty scenes, props, weapons, trees, all that stuff in media. Some examples are videogame maps like Elder Scrolls and the environments where Pixar characters interact with in the movie.

Rigger

A very smart person who creates the bone structures for characters and models. Basically they make the puppet mechanisms for the character animator to use. Animators are very thankful for these people. 

Motion Capture
Okay so you basically wear a tight suit with a bunch of markings on them and you are being recorded in front of cameras and computers. The computer will convert you into a 3D character for a videogame, animation or film.
Motion Graphics
Really cool artwork and titles flying across the screen, you probably see them on the news channels, or intros of your favorite shows, or effects in commercials.
Storyboard Artist
This artist tells a draft story on paper which is a guide for all the other artists to follow and create in the final digital 2D or 3D medium. Basically they are the director of the project, creating visuals for each important scene in the story into different panels.

Graphic Designer

These artists create visual concepts for things like magazines, advertisements, logos, postcards, brochures, layouts, typography, movie titles, websites, billboards… you name it!
Instructor
Well someone had to learn from somewhere. Many digital artists work as teachers in high-schools, tech schools and colleges and even have another job as a freelance artist or working in a studio.
Freelance

Commonly a digital artist’s second job. They work for many clients and sell their art on their own terms and pricing. Pretty much these artists are self employed and able to work from home! You may have heard of the term commissions… that is an example of freelance! Some make Webtoons, Patreons, kickstart their own projects, and stream live. 

So how do I get hired to work one of these jobs?

PORTFOLIO!!!

These companies need proof that you are talented, artistic, disciplined, awesome, and passionate with your art. Every digital art job requires a portfolio so they can see your strengths and weaknesses in your finished projects. Your portfolio should contain examples of the career title that you are aiming for. For example, if you are aiming to become a 3D animator, your portfolio should have a lot of 3D projects. Lets go to the portfolio guide!

Helpful Resources

Want to learn even more about different careers, possibly apply to one? Check these out!

Indeed

Begin your job search with Indeed! Super easy job search engine and you can build your own resume.

Screenskills

Learn more about different job roles in film, TV, games, animation and visual effects.

I started my commission journey mid 2020 (and yes, that was the time COVID hit the world and everyone was home). I was curious about Twitch.tv, which is a streaming platform where gamers, artists, and podcasters do their thing live. I started playing games and making art live too. Soon enough I was part of a community with other artists. Then, I started getting people asking me how much I charge to make them emotes, characters, backgrounds and panels for their twitch channel. It’s definitely a lot of fun working with different people, making new friends, new connections, and building up your portfolio.