What Are the Main Skills You Need to Get To Become an In-Demand Digital Artist?
- 27 Jan 2023
No need to say that we live in a fully digitalized world. So, it is not surprising that the new era requires humanity to pick up new occupations related to that digital world. Digital artists are definitely on the list of these innovative jobs. Do you know who these professionals are and what differentiates them from conventional artists? Where are digital artists in demand, and how to become a pro of that kind?
Getting answers to these questions was simple, as we asked about the true experts of digital art from Stepico. In that agency, digital art services, including 2D art services, are among the most popular and highly required by its customers. So, the expertise of Stepico’s artists came in handy in writing this article.
So, what is digital art? We know that artists use manual tools and various techniques to create their pictures. Besides, they are not just working for the sake of cultural heritage, as their skills are used in various other human activities like advertising, design, marketing, etc. That distinguishes conventional artists from digital ones, as the latter also work for businesses. But the main difference lies in the methods and tools that traditional and digital artists use.
Digital artists create their artwork entirely on a PC, using a graphics tablet and high-tech features of graphics software (that includes working with layers and textures, generating patterns and noise, using various brushes, effects, filters, plug-ins, etc.). So, this occupation unites traditional art skills and technologies.
Today, digital artists’ services are used in various areas and industries. They work as game artists, develop impeccable advertisements, and are engaged in animation creation, design, and illustrations. Their services help to generate visual content for a digital world. And that distinguishes the main goal each digital artist has.
When you decide to become a successful digital artist from scratch, there is almost Terra Incognito lying in front of you. Starting that path could seem a die-hard task. Yet, it is not irrealizable. We have prepared a simple guide on getting hold of useful skills that may help you in your future career as a digital artist.
You should follow three main steps:
1. Decide on the direction you will follow.
2. Determine which skills you need to get to follow that direction.
3. Work with technologies and polish some special skills (we mean soft skills too).
Now let’s talk a bit about each of these steps.
Digital art can be created in diverse forms. The rudimentary division is 2D and 3D art. Yet it is not the one-and-only choice you have to make. Both 2D and 3D art technologies include dozens of styles, directions, and methods.
For example, even the simplest sketch in digital art can be performed using several basic techniques:
• Drawing with pixels or so-called digital image units. It is an organic process, much like traditional painting one. Such images are called raster.
• Creating a vector image. It connects various vector shapes and elements, such as points, lines, circles, etc. And the image itself is formed from such a connection.
There are various styles of digital art similar to hand-made art pieces. Some prefer working realistically, while others love the impressionistic style, pop art, or anime-styled art. For some, drawing comic stripes is the best implementation of the talent, while others may prefer the complex creation of 3D pictures and animation. Of course, some digital artists can simultaneously work effectively in different techniques and directions. But let’s be sincere, even the most talented Jack-of-all-trades has some directions they like more than others. And that is also normal.
From that statement, it comes naturally that there are various implementations of digital art skills. For example, the most apparent jobs a digital artist can do are as follows:
• Game development today is one of the most popular areas of implementing digital artists’ skills.
• Design and marketing are also tightly bound to digital art. That is the generation of engaging and viral content that will impress customers and help sell goods and services.
• Publishing and book-selling business. Today, almost all illustrations for printed and digital books, magazines, and other printed materials are made by digital artists.
Furthermore, digital artists can work as freelancers and sell their art on specific online platforms like Etsy, eBay, etc.
So, deciding in advance which direction to choose and where to sell your skills as a digital artist is highly recommended.
Besides the first step, obtaining some special skills that will help you in your future job is crucial. Academic education in visual arts is the basis for any digital artist. It forms the basic skills, such as:
• Fundamentals of painting and drawing, coloring, composition, and perspective;
• Refined creativity and imagination;
• Knowledge of human and animal anatomy;
• Knowledge of the main styles and trends in painting and design.
It is also important to constantly train and improve your level in the following skills:
• Creating an image through character design, movement, and facial expressions;
• Use of visual metaphor;
• Fluency in drawing by hand/on a tablet;
• Proficiency in raster and vector graphics editors;
• Work with fonts, lettering, collage;
• Work in different art styles.
Having your authentic style and taste is also a must for a digital artist, and it will bring you more credit.
Digital art requires the implementation of special software. There are dozens of popular tools and technologies used by digital artists, from well-known Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to 3ds Max and Maya tools used in 3D game art.
Selecting from them depends on an artist’s style and working method, but knowing at least a couple of these tools on an advanced level is generally a must.
Do not also forget about soft skills. For a digital artist, these are patience, the ability to communicate with people, constant learning, and readiness to comprehend new information. Teamwork skills will also benefit you if you decide to work in the field of marketing or game development.
As you can see, a digital artist’s scope of jobs is wide enough. Besides, such an occupation offers vast opportunities to enclose your unique vision and talent. So, if you are at a crossroads on what to make your life work, you can consider digital art a great opportunity.