It is easy to forget that as a concept artist, you have to constantly be thinking creatively and pushing new ideas to create something new and original. And like most concept artists, we like to think that all of our ideas are unique and different than what’s being pushed to the mass market.
But it’s okay to use something you saw in a movie, at a clothes store, or something that another artist has made and then use that in your own piece. Now I’m not saying that you should directly take another’s work as your own. I am saying that you should take a look at what’s out there. There is no shame in being inspired by someone’s else’s work and then using that to create something that is yours. Because, most likely, that artist that your taking ideas from, probably took his or her ideas from someone else as well.
Plus you will are bound to find something that inspires and intrigues you. There have been a slew of resources I have used over the past couple of years. I go to them when I need a creative thinking refresh.
So here is a list of some of the many resource sites out there:
Like many artists starting out, my first online art resource I stumbled on was deviantArt.com. It has everything from the good, the bad, and the ugly. It still is, to this day, my favorite go to website when looking for art reference or just to get a fresh look at some art. It may have what many would considered junk, but when you find treasure, it is golden.
This next site is a bit more professional and while the range of topics isn’t as wide as Deviantart, it makes up with the amount of quality that almost all the pieces have. This site is great for game artists, because it has high quality in both the concept work and the 3D.
Speaking of videogames, here is a site dedicated to videogame art. The art comes straight from the games themselves, so no fanart or original art on here. This one is great to see what you want to strive for. While Cghub has very high quality too, a lot of their pieces can border on fine art, while here it is strictly concept art.
While very similar to CGHub in their gallery setup, this one has more of a focus on the community of concept artists. It has a great forum and there are many active users on here that contribute to the many discussions. This is a great resource not so much for the art aspects, but as a resource and for the community.
+ Here are some for poses and people reference:
This website is the first “posing” website that I came across in which you are given a muscle base study of a male or female and then can either find a specific pose, or just to browse for one. There is also a 30 second section that you can click on to practice your gesture drawings.
This website is dedicated to producing photosets that can be used for a more specific topic. it is great for capturing angles as well as dynamic lighting. Each photoset typically has a least 50 pics in them and cover a range of poses and perspective.
While this site is more dedicated to 3D artists, there is also a lot that can be used for a concept artist as well. Most photos are softly lit, so while you won’t get much dynamic lighting, you will get a focus on the human body and it’s underlying anatomy.
These are a few to get started on, but don’t stop there. Get out and look at everything you can to be inspired from. I like to also look at a lot of fashion, anime, culture, and photography websites, You never know what you may find until you start looking
Let me know where you you guys go to for reference!