Personal stories from ImaginusVR Team: insider insights from our 2D artist Dayana

Concept art plays a huge role in the gaming industry. These foundational ideas begin to create an imaginary world, making it believable and captivating. The artistic process of creating concept art can vary for each artist, but the basic principles of design and the aspiration to bring ideas to life remain constant. Here's the process of concept art by our artist.

The first and very important step is researching references. This is especially true if the concept art theme is completely new to you and you lack sufficient knowledge on the subject. Sometimes, I even research how specific animals/mechanisms/buildings function, not just how they look. This provides a deeper understanding of the subject, allowing you to understand the basic rules of its existence and, thus, alter them believably. Additionally, while searching for and reviewing references, you create your visual library, which aids in imagination and creation.

When I search for references, I use various image sources – Google Pictures, Pinterest, and sometimes Bing. First, I look for real objects only, not other concepts or any other form of art. This helps to create your own impression of the subject, rather than just repeating other artists' work. After this step, if the theme is quite specific and there are already some associations, I look for other artists' projects on the same theme to avoid being too eccentric and far from client expectations.

The second step – we start creating basic figures. Here, it's necessary to consider the mood of the subject, its functions, and placement. Usually, it's based on associations of form. For example – a circle is calm, cozy, welcoming; a triangle can signify movement or danger; a square – stable, reliable, etc. Of course, concepts rarely consist of one figure, so it's important to consider the relationships between them and their balance.

Often, I simply apply several random strokes and try to see some form in them that corresponds to the theme. The process can quickly change, so at this stage, my sketches are very rough and loose. This way, I can easily change them without regret and not get stuck on a single idea.

By this point, it usually becomes clear which ideas work well and which do not. Therefore, I choose ideas that look promising and make several variations of them, combining, adding, or removing elements. When everything is ready, the rough ideas are shown to the client so they can choose which conceptual directions they like most.

The next step – refining rough ideas based on client comments. This is almost the same as the previous step, but the sketches are more detailed. This stage can be repeated as many times as the client wants to refine the concept. Also, I usually start adding primary colors and more clearly define materials.

When developing a color concept, it's also better to make several variations of it. Color choice should be based on references, the world of the object, and what parts you want to emphasize. The most contrasting and saturated areas will attract more attention, creating focal points. It's better to keep the number of focuses from 1 to 3, rarely 4. Otherwise, the theme becomes too complicated, and viewers won't be able to clearly identify it.

When all this is considered, applied, and refined with client wishes in mind, you get the final result.
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