Character Artist Tips to improve!

Character Artist Tips to improve!

 24 Aug 2020

    Game Artist,
    Gaming Industry

Character Artists are tasked with one of the most crucial roles in the gaming and film industries.

Don’t get me wrong whilst Character Art is a crucial role, no game would be complete without other Artists in the team such as Environment Artists required to build up the whole picture.

However what is apparent is that there is no hiding in character art, its under the most spotlight and the audience needs to buy into the characters mostly for it to be a success.



Be Passionate

You have got to live it and breathe it when it comes to character art. You have to be able to walk in the characters shoes, think about how it moves and why it looks the way it does (What’s the background story to the character).

As such a character artist role can become all consuming, with Artists often becoming quite attached to their characters and you must love what you do to be able to put in the time and dedication it requires.


Expand your portfolio:

When recruiting we finding gaming studios are very specific in the genre of experience they are looking for, hence its important to build up a portfolio that showcases a variety of work, for example a good mix of both stylised and organic characters.


Do your research

When creating a character its important to look for inspiration through different mediums, be it film, cartoons, historical artwork or the natural world.

It would be good advice to anticipate characters / genres that may come up on future assignments and start building up your own catalogue of images you can refer to for future reference.


Consider Feelings

A lot of designing Characters revolves on how they are meant to feel. Once you know the mood it helps you capture that in the design and their expressions.

Ever hard the expression “A face can tell a story”?

An example being a grumpy ogre. We would assume that an Ogre will have been grumpy for quite some time, so to capture this story perhaps the Ogre would have deep frown lines.


Consider Function

Similar to feeling and emotions its also important to consider how would this character have moved / functioned for many years prior to you meeting them.

This is particularly useful when adding detail to the characters body, such as hands.

For example does the character do a lot of work with their hands. Imagine an old sailor who’s hands have gone course and rough over time due to lots of cold winds and rope burns.


Detail, Detail, Detail

Character work requires so much detail, not only do you need to think about the characters face and body but also what clothes they wear or even items, tools, or weapons they carry with them. Whilst tools and weapons can be a specialist area of artwork, it must also be considered by character artists.

As such it can be useful to have an interest / an awareness in fashion / clothing as an additional source of inspiration.


Be Open to Criticism

As mentioned earlier given the time and effort that goes into it artists can become very attached to their characters and as such it can be difficult to be open to criticism.

But it is important to be able to handle criticism if you are going to be able to take advice, learn and progress.



The role of a character artist whilst requiring a lot of dedication is also one of the most rewarding roles in the film and gaming industry, creating iconic characters that are remembered for potentially generations.

As a recruiter the biggest advice I can give you, especially starting out, is look to make up with your lack of professional portfolio by including more of your own personal projects. Remember when companies recruit, they are looking for something specific so by expanding your variety of work will give you a better chance of striking a chord with the recruiter and massively increase your chances of getting noticed in a competitive industry.

I hope this blog was of use, it would be great to hear your thoughts on any other tips you have for Character Artists looking to improve?


Character artist vacancies!

We currently have an exciting vacancy for a character Artist/ Senior Character Artist with an award winning gaming developer in Warwickshire UK

Click here to find out more about the role and why this employer was awarded one of the best employers to work for 2019!



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