JAN Urschel, a concept designer and illustrator from Germany who now resides in Singapore and is the Creative Director of Hendrix Design, shared his journey as a concept artist in the entertainment industry with students from The One Academy recently.
Urschel who has been a concept designer for close to a decade and an illustrator for even longer, spoke about the job scope and skills of a concept designer and the pros and cons of in-house versus freelance. He also shared practical tips and industry advice.
He has worked on various Hollywood films such as the upcoming Captain Marvel and X-Men: Dark Phoenix as well Star Wars: Rogue One; he has also worked on video games such as Assassin’s Creed and Call Of Duty.
He has previously worked at Lucasfilm and Ubisoft Singapore before making the jump to be an independent concept designer. Some of his clients include Marvel, Warner Bros, EA, Microsoft and Sony.
Urschel said that it is up to the artist to choose which projects to advertise themselves with in their resume, because it will determine the kind of jobs that they will attract in the future.
As an artist, he added, one needs to be able to diversify one’s portfolio and show lots of different aspects of work that one can do.
“Branding is basically how people perceive you, how you present yourself to the world with anything you say, what you do and how you look, online and in real life.
“Be true to yourself and it will show in your art. Don’t compare yourself to others. At the end of the day, what matters most is if you’re happy with the work you’re doing. You are your own journey,” he said.
Urschel held a one-day workshop the next day during which he conducted a tutorial and demonstrated the workflow of doing concept art by using the 3D software Blender.