#Junior Artist — 3 minute read
Iva Junior Artist
Stepping into the realm of digital art
Video games of every genre have always been a big part of my life. I remember always having a pencil in my hand, secretly sketching my own versions of some game characters in my school notebooks. Expressing myself visually has never been foreign to me. Throughout both my school years and my personal growth, it's been a constant of my life - whether we're talking about traditional illustration, film, design, animation and even - architectural engineering!
My journey into the world of digital arts
My journey into the world of digital art began primarily with architecture, then graphic design and eventually digital drawing. After graduating with a major in architecture, I realized that working in this particular field would not be fulfilling enough for me so I decided to take some time to explore the market, freelance, and decide what it is exactly I wanted to do. For quite a while I wasn't able to imagine that I would draw for a living – and to eventually combine it with my passion for gaming.
“To master digital art, it's of great importance to understand the basics of conventional drawing – shapes, volumes, perspective, composition and color.”
It dawned on me that digital art represents a synergistic approach to everything I wanted to do - the first time I enrolled in a course and got ahold of a tablet, it was very clear that this was what I wanted to do. Besides teaching technical skills, the community of the Machina Game Dev Academy provided me with insights on the video game industry and job market which further motivated me to pursue a career in Croatia!
What does it take to master digital art?
First of all, it's of great importance to understand the basics of conventional drawing – shapes, volumes, perspective, composition and color. Even though a significant number of traditional artists are skeptical towards digital artists' skills, digital art does require a firm understanding of traditional art principles. It is basically conveying 3D objects on 2D platform. The only different aspect is the medium.
A different medium necessitates a different approach
Digitalization of one's skills is just a process of learning new muscle control/ motor skills and of course learning about the softwares that are used. As in every new skill that one acquires, the most important virtues are persistence and motivation. There are no shortcuts in skill acquisition. For every skill - the most important factors are tenacity and time.
Digital artists in the game development industry
The positions and responsibilities of artists in game development vary wildly, most notably from game to game. Studios need artists for stylized characters, others for realistic ones and some for landscape art and also concept art. The portfolio of a beginner should contain a variety of elements done in a standard style - assets, portraits, figures, and landscapes, but also areas that the artist wishes to specialize in, for example, monster design.
“The portfolio of a beginner should contain a variety of elements done in a standard style - assets, portraits, figures, and landscapes, but also areas that the artist wishes to specialize in.”
Acing our digital art skills
Since starting at Nanobit, I've been working on a project that requires a specific visual style, as is the case with every Nanobit game. To efficiently gain mastery over this specific style, I've been assigned a mentor - she has no problem providing me with feedback whenever required and provides me with advice every step of the way. I cannot stress enough how comfortable of a workstyle this is for someone new to the industry - especially considering the phenomenal workshops we have just had at Nanobit led by Sam Nassour, a Finnish digital artist with professional experience in global studios. The workshop was focused on character design and illustration techniques. Communication with the mentor couldn't be any better, since it was an open dialogue about many of his workflows and sketching. He also took time to provide feedback on our work as well during the entire workshop.