INTERVIEW WITH CONCEPT ARTIST DAMIEN NAGY
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve studied art in art school to become a graphic designer. Then, I didn’t really enjoy the job, so I decided to return to art school to become an art teacher. But I discovered the world of concept art and I bought a wacom tablet. It was awesome but I had to practice, so with the objective to become a concept artist, I started to draw a lot. And, 3 years ago, I started to have some orders from filmmakers. With Cold Comfort, it was my first job in the video game and I realize that it is what I always wanted to do.
Is there anything for which you’d go back and change the way you learned it to either improve your skill set or to learn faster?
Like I said before, I studied art and I developed some artistic skills but it was not enough to make some good concepts. I started to study concept art alone with “YouTube”. I think that was my best teacher! I learned very fast. The secret is to practice every day.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
I wake up, eat, I do some sport, check my mail and spend all day behind my computer. And finally, I go to the cinema. (I live 10 min by foot to it). The cinema is a great source of inspiration.
What made you want to become a Concept Artist?
I love to play video games and when I was a kid I was drawing some characters of video games. When I discovered some concept art on the internet and art books, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. During a long time I was focused on characters, but one day a filmmaker asked me to make an environment and I really enjoyed to make it. Why didn’t I make this earlier?
Is there a specific type of 2D art that you enjoy doing the most?
What do you think is essential in becoming a Concept Artist? What are you continually trying to improve?
Ideas are essential. Techniques help to communicate your ideas. I practice a lot to master Photoshop. I think a concept artist try to improve all his life. The idea is to be faster and creative.
Can you walk us through your favorite process for tackling a piece of concept art?
First I search for references. It can take one day and it’s really important. The idea is to make a visual library. I make some sketches and when I have the idea, I start to paint directly on Photoshop. Sometimes I use a basic 3D with Sketchup. That’s sounds easy but I can miss, so I go out (cinema) or I play and I restart with a fresh eye.
What’s the one thing you think is least known about working as a concept artist for games?
I think the fact that’s it’s years and years of practice. Sometimes people think that you have just talent.
Other than games, where do you go for inspiration?
Art books, cinema, literature, art exhibition. I have to feed my creativity!
Could you share any bits of advice for aspiring artists or practicing artists looking to get into the field of concept art?
I think a good concept artist must be interested in everything. The creativity is the best skill, and I think creativity is an assemblage of what you see and know. The more you see, the more you can be able to make some good concept. To practice is, of course, a good thing but going out, reading, watching is essential.
What’s your opinion on the concept art industry as a whole? Do you think it’s growing or shrinking, and where do you see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?
I think it’s growing a lot. That’s awesome because a lot of worlds are created. Our real world is not enough. We need to escape in virtual. I can’t imagine in ten years, This technology evolves so fast.
What are your favorite games?
I really enjoy adventure and horror games. Silent Hill, Dead Space, The Evil Within, Castlevania, The Last Of Us, Batman Arkham series… are the last games I played that marked my mind.
You can check out Damien’s Artstation page here.