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Being concept artist and working online only?

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Hi guys! I would love to hear your advice on what should I choose as a career. A bit of my background first may be useful

I work as a drawing teacher in Poland, and I mainly teach architecture drawing (perspective, geometry, still art as well). So I guess I'm an expert on that, I have 12 years of experience. My educational background is that I'm an architect. But I also have experience drawing and painting people, I also teach human anatomy at our school.

I worked at a few concept art projects in the movie industry - Dr Dolittle, The Great (doing interior design), The Last Duel (doing costume design), I've also made illustrations for game's story teaser, which were animated by someone else. So I have little experience, but these were only side jobs. And now I wish to become full time artist and make teaching my side job.

So what is what I'm concerned about? I live in a medium size city in Poland where there is no gaming or movie industry. And I cannot move to other city - I have just finished building a house and will soon be a mother.

So I need to choose an art career that I will be able to maintain online. I would love to work as a concept artist, that's what I love the most. And I am working on a concept art portfolio. But can I be a concept artist and work online? I know how important it is to have a good contact with a team. Can I also work part time as a concept artist? I guess it would be the best start for me - have little projects to work on, build practical experience, then slowly move to maybe full time concept art job (when my baby grows a bit)

If you think I can become a concept artist and work online - what type of portfolio should I create? One focused on one style, aiming for a certain company? Or maybe one that would showcase my different skills? I think I am good both at environment and character design, so I could include both in portolio. Wouldn't that be better if I wanted to work at smaller, indie companies?

I have a lot of questions and worries. You can clearly see I have no experience :) Your advice would help me a lot. I have just started building my portfolio and I would like to know if I go in a right direction and don't waste time. I'm already 28 so I think like I need to hurry a bit.

Here is a link to my current portfolio at Artstation - maybe you find it useful. https://myetri.artstation.com/

Thank you very much!


  • killnpc
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    killnpc interpolator

    with your teaching background i think you'd have potential to be a great senior or lead artist, being able to communicate to artists as a mentor is a useful skill to have within these roles but should not be leading without at least an aptitude for business, management, or studio production.

    due to circumstance, being unable to relocate and limited to working remote, i feel the surest option you have is working as a freelancer. it can be a challenge in time management, building momentum, and finding reliable clientele. i'd recommend to enter slow, take it safe, and don't take on more than you're able. even without a newborn this can be a stressful setback. you may be able to supplement your income with online mentorship or teaching art remotely as you move toward you end goals. it will be a lot smoother to utilize your current strengths as you grow in new areas. best of luck to you!

  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage

    Concept artist or illustrator thats what you should be looking for and both are suitable for working remotely and there is plenty of work

    As concept artist you should be able to draw anything[which mean you have to show range and variety ] even tho some ppl specialized for example your environments are really good and you could find work right away will with those as for your characters they lack behind you need to put the same effort in to them and draw a few epic ones Style is not that important if art is really good

  • Saibu

    Thank you very much! I am really surprised (but super happy of course!) you think my teaching experience may be somehow useful in the future. I was worried this time I kind of wasted. And I realise I need to learn a lot about what you mentioned -  business, management, or studio production.

    May I ask you to share your opinion on how could I do that? Is it something I can learn only through working in the industry? Or could I prepare myself by reading some books, listening to podcasts of experienced artists etc? By until now my work was super easy, as I had amazing employers who would pretty much do all the paper work for me. So I'm like a high schooler when it comes to managing businness and stuff like that 😅

  • Saibu

    Thank you! You are so right about my characters lacking behind! That's what I'm currently working on and in fact You've been helping me a lot with one of my character designs in the other post :D

    So thank you very much, I've already learned a lot thanks to Your advice. And I'll focus on characters in the following weeks! Hopefully I'll create something of a quality matching my enviros. I hope you won't mind if I ask what you think about them from time to time :)

  • killnpc
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    killnpc interpolator

    from my experience a lot of middle management would often latch to certain management books around the same time like a club. they often came from industry experience with a reputation for craft and performance excellence. working into the role, you'll study the current industry standards, practices, and software. as a lead you'll be a go to for junior artists on resolving issues and guiding their career. retaining a mastery of your specialization is critical for your security but dabbling in the other disciplines will enlighten you to a true respect for those you collaborate with and views into its layers. many executives often come from outside the industry. at the top, lawyers, police, business men. at the end of the day, these are companies, taking courses on business development would be advantageous not only for any role within the company, but in creating your own.

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