Professional game artists: an investigation into the primary considerations that impact upon their work, and the effects upon their creative practice

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This article represents the author’s preliminary research into an area of creative practice that he pursued for some 20 years, namely that of a full time professional computer game artist. Initially collaborating with academics as a part time lecturer and industrial consultant, for the past eight years his roles within academia have focused on developing pedagogical models of professional practice within games education. Through his interaction with students, employers and graduates, the author began to identify an area of keen personal interest – namely, the actual realities of being a professional game artist, and the potential consequences on creative practice. In identifying the constraints and influences that direct such an artist’s work, it is the intention that a broader discussion may then follow, exploring how such artists can protect their creative muse, when the evidence would suggest that many aspects of the games industry are an absolute anathema to individual expression. In addition to his own experiences and research, the author has drawn on interviews with other professionals from games development, as well as artists who work in other areas of professional artistic practice (such as Fine Art, Illustration, and Comics). In this way his intention is to identify the areas of practice common to other areas of art, while highlighting any of the more unique elements present specifically within games development itself. While there is a large body or research into game design principles and technologies, there is very little discussion that focuses on the very people that make them. It is the author’s hope that this article plays some small part in starting to redress this balance, and may help the reader to appreciate the challenges such artists face.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalThe Luminary
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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