There are some ways though in which reaching this level marks a change in your working life. The unknown becomes less scary. You feel confident that when you’re assigned a brief, you’ll smash it, or if you do come up against a challenge, you have the communication skills, practical knowhow and carefully honed creative approach, to navigate it successfully.
As a Principal Artist, you will have attained a level of ability that makes the fundamentals a breeze, complicated design techniques a cinch. The small problems a concept artist is required to solve hour-by-hour as they intricately tie together the client’s brief with the limits of technology become second nature, freeing up space for your creative mind to innovate. That spark of new thinking, the capacity to experiment with confidence and imbue your work with real emotion, is what clients and players respond to when they see your work.
Thomas Stoop joined Atomhawk in 2016 as an Intermediate Concept Artist and has since risen to the rank of Principal Concept Artist. Before joining the studio, he had been freelancing full-time. He says, “When I started working at Atomhawk I never really had the goal to become a Principal Artist, but I did want to become a Senior. To prepare me for this I had to do a lot of deputising on different projects and get comfortable with giving feedback. After two years, I moved to the Vancouver studio and got the promotion to Senior, which over time naturally turned into Principal.”