Am I too old to become a good concept artist at 26?

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  05 May 2013
Am I too old to become a good concept artist at 26?

Please don't be annoyed by this thread or my post count, I was embarrassed to post this on my main, also read through a few threads about this topic but I still have a few questions left unanswered.

Mainly concerning the development of a real talented artists mind, and the amount of time they have practiced while growing up. I mean, every concept artist I've read about started drawing / painting at a young age. They always knew it was what they wanted to do.

I've only recently seen the works of Dylan Cole after watching one of his dvd's, and I have never been more motivated or inspired, wish I grew up around more creative artistic people. I always had a misguided delusion that I'm not really an artist, or else I would have been drawing amazing things since I was a kid.

The last few years I have been sculpting though, mainly focusing on characters, bypassing 2d concepting and going straight to 3d with zbrush & maya. I can retopologize, rig, animate and of course light/render/composite with a bit of environment modeling.
Even though I have these sculpting & technical skills, I am realizing now that being a concept artist with photoshop is where the real art is.

A main reason why I feel like I need good 2d digital painting & concepting skills is because I'm ultimately working on short films and now that I have characters down, I need to get into background & environment work. I don't really want to work at a studio or on someone elses project, I really want to start something amazing that many people will see and hopefully open my own studio if I save up enough. Sure turning this into my day job would be great so I can become better at this doing it 24/7, but I'm already making a good income stress free with no deadlines or overtime and I get to be away from the computer and socialize.

I'm just not as hopeful as I can be anywhere near as good as someone like Dylan Cole since I'm only getting into concepting / photoshop so late in my life.

I hear people say it takes 3 years to be good, but can you really become a talented concept artist starting this late at 26?
 
  05 May 2013
If Ken Harris could become one of the animator masters by starting his animation career only at the end of his twenties, than surely you can become great at concept art, no matter what age you are. Van Gogh only started painting in his late twenties.

Age is just a number - if your work is top-notch when you are 19 or 29 or 39 or 59, no-one's going to care when or where you started. Or which education you took. You will find work. It's the work and passion that counts.
 
  05 May 2013
If you want it enough, you will do it. 26 isn't too late for anything, it's reasonably young.
Yes, a lot of artists draw from being very young, but without doubt it is far better to do 2 years of really dedicated study and focussed practice than 10 years of doodling.
Get started, seek out critique from people who are more experienced, and really study hard, and you can be near professional level in 2 years. Maybe less. There's no exact time on it, but it will depend on your perseverence, time dedicated to practice, how focussed your studies are etc...

The only thing that worried me about your post was talking about starting your own studio.
Please, PLEASE don't do that until you have at least a little professional experience, its a hell of a tough industry to make money in, and for someone who hasn't got studio knowledge, its a recipe for disaster.

Hope it helps!
N
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  05 May 2013
Never, ever, ever let anyone tell you when your career should start, or end, or what is too old. Follow your instincts and commit yourself completely to the craft you want to succeed in. Ignore anyone who says you had to be talented when you were a child to succeed today, or tomorrow. Talent can be both inherited and learned. Some people are born with raw talent and choose not to use it. Others are born with no talent and want to be an artist so badly they struggle to learn everything they know and spend a lifetime honing their skills to absolute perfection. Talent is, after all, a description of what we CAN do, learned or otherwise, and not an indication of what we are supposed to have.

BTW, Syd Mead started his career at 26.
 
  05 May 2013
Let me correct the question: can you become a concept artist (at all)? It depends on if you have some talent, which means have some passion and a bit of predisposition to enjoying it and developing the designer mindset. Some people are utterly untalented in some areas. No-one can be a good concept designer at the start, it's the most demanding area of visual development, amongst with creative thinking.
Let's say you have some talent to it, and feel you can become better and enjoy it. Then just take such an estimation: your age+let's say 2-4 years to developing the needed skills. Then you can become good at 30. If you think designers sit and draw everyday, it's not true. So it's not you can't catch up. You definitely can.
If you enjoy something, you can become good at it in several years. Should it stop you, whatever age you are? The exception would be some heavy sports at some age, if you want to become professional.
 
  05 May 2013
This thread makes me feel old. 26 is really young :/
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: This thread makes me feel old. 26 is really young :/

You beat me to the punch.

I have T Shirts older than this kid. Anyway, 20-30-40-50 hell 60 is never too old.
The whole concept is to do something because you love it.

To hell with what society thinks.

-R
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 05 May 2013 at 01:43 PM.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: You beat me to the punch.

I have T Shirts older than this kid. Anyway, 20-30-40-50 hell 60 is never too old.
the whole concept is to do something because you love it.To hell with what society thinks.

-R


I would drink to that any day Sir its what i keep saying despite EVERYBODY around me thinking otherwise.
 
  05 May 2013
If you want to be a concept artist you already are. If you want to be as good as the guy you mentioned then you will have to work hard and I am not sure if not doing it as a profession will help.

You mentioned that it is not a necessity to become world class because you have a comfortable stress free source of income. I am wondering if you like the idea of the goal instead of needing to do it. I don't think age is an issue, only motivation.
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  05 May 2013
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: This thread makes me feel old. 26 is really young :/


26 is definitely over the hill from my point of view.
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  05 May 2013
Yes, you're done.

NO. You're never too old. That sort of thinking is self-defeating.
Anyone with focus can become anything.

That Stan Lee post is sobering, never thought of that.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: I have T Shirts older than this kid....

-R


Are they collectables? Do they still fit you?

Seriously though, I think the original poster will possibly learn faster because its what he wants to do. Age is no barrier to determination and love of a subject.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by pipdixel: Yes, you're done.

NO. You're never too old. That sort of thinking is self-defeating.
Anyone with focus can become anything.

That Stan Lee post is sobering, never thought of that.

Ridley Scott Directed ALIEN when he was 40.

Danny Glover, Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson hit also their acting grooves after 40.
Age for some is just an abstract concept.
Yes your body is not the same, but boy life experience is useful as hell.
Honestly I think it is an self serving excuse for inaction.
Originally Posted by Dillster: Are they collectables? Do they still fit you?

.


Well they do fit my Wife quite well....
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  05 May 2013
I'm 56 and still haven't found my groove. I'm thinking it's going to happen in my 60's…can hardly wait.
 
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