What does a Character Artist do?
Character artists develop concepts for characters and then bring those characters to life, either drawing them by hand or using digital design tools. They render sketches and use illustration software programs to produce artistic projects. They collaborate with designers, art directors, and other creative professionals to establish and refine the vision for the characters, setting, and other elements.
Character artists may have a college degree or a diploma from a technical training program – often in an art or design field – but experience and demonstration of talent and ability is generally more important to employers, who will ideally want to see a portfolio of past work. These artists must have an understanding of anatomy, lighting, color theory, texture, and other artistic concepts. Some roles may require specialized skills in areas such as animation or 3D modeling.
- Collaborate with fellow artists, and teams to produce the highest quality characters.
- Partner with creative leads to conceptualize and model characters and hard surface accessories based on original art and photographic reference.
- Collaborate with the character technical directors to help define modeling standards for rigging, deformation, and simulation within performance budgets, and other run-time requirements.
- Review work from external partners and provide detailed direction and feedback.
- Become familiar with new tools, performance capture hardware, software and data, and other emerging modeling techniques.
- Actively participate in milestone planning, reviews, and bids for new work.
- Experience collaborate with designers, animators, riggers, engineers to develop new solution/tool/tech/pipeline.
- Expert level drawing skills.
- Hands-on experience with Unreal Engine and similar tools.
- Comfortable using programs like Mudbox and ZBrush software.
- Fluent with Python and other programming languages.
Character Artist Salaries
Average Base Pay
Character Artist Career Path
Learn how to become a Character Artist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Character Artist Insights
“It was a good hourly rate when I worked there at $50 an hour.”
“Boss is great to work with and understanding”
“The products are highly successful so job security is great.”
“Work and life balance are good.”
“Great people and project.”
“Great for start as a career Competitive team”
“some people are really great to work with”
“Good benefits overall I would say”
Character Artist Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Character Artist
- Concept Artist
- Environment Artist
- Game Artist
- 3D Artist