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Game artist

It’s up to them to manage the characters, the lights, the landscapes. A game artist takes care of all the visual aspects of a video game. They can also work in structures that do not have specialists (character designer, 2D / 3D computer graphics artist, texture artist, etc.), which requires great versatility. Or work in studios by supervising these same careers giving them more of a managerial role.

Game Artist Job Description
Last update
Level of studies: master’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Artistic
Employability: Good
Starting salary: € 2,500
Salary after experience: € 3,350
Mobility: Good
ROME code: E1104
FAP code: U1Z82
"Tha game artist career is the most general of all the artistic careers of video game creation. I think it's associated with the development of mobile or indie games, which often have limited budgets and require more versatility within teams than AAAs. Some PC / console studios, however, have specialists and generalists: the boundaries are starting to blur between mobile and PC production, for example, with Ubisoft's recent announcement to develop the free-to-play or cross-play model on successful games like Fortnite or Roblox."
Studio Oh bibi Simon Aublet
Simon Aublet
Game artist at OhBibi


In the development of a video game, three careers are essential:

  • Developers
  • Game designers who create the rules of the game
  • Game artists who take care of visual elements

The latter (if the studio has no specialists, for example) is responsible for designing a visual identity. They will then create the characters’ clothes, for example, imagine the decorations, think about the colours, design creatures, etc. They always have the consistency of the whole and the user experience in mind.

animation 3D
Lights, environment, 2D / 3D computer graphics, character design, a game artist is versatile
"A game artist will most often have to create characters and sets and sometimes generate rigs, FX, lighting, or create 2D assets such as illustrations or the interface. To do this, you need to know the production pipeline and the project engine, the tools, and the theory on many subjects such as the optimisation of mesh, materials and shader, or even the technical limitations of mobile devices. This requires curiosity, communicating with your team and doing a lot of monitoring (I recommend subscribing to news sites such or following independent devs who share their findings on social networks). "
Studio Oh bibi Simon Aublet
Simon Aublet
Game artist at OhBibi

Qualities and skills

You’ll need imagination and a sense of creativity to do this job, as well as a general culture and a certain sense of observation. You’ll also need to know how to work in a team and have concepts of management as well as an outlook on the project.

These are the fundamental qualities, but that’s not all. A game artist must master 2D / 3D software and know how to draw, model, and animate. In addition, they have a strong video game culture.

The game artist is able to handle several software such as the two below:

Unity is an example of software you must know how to use
Maya is a modelling and animation software

The pros and cons

Like any job, being a game artist has its advantages and disadvantages. Here they are :

Advantages :

  • Working on the visual aspects of a video game, for game and graphics enthusiasts, is a real bonus
  • Use your creativity
  • Have great latitude in terms of creation
  • A motivating salary as soon as you leave your studies
  • Rapid evolution

Disadvantages :

  • Strong involvement with significant hours
  • Too much versatility can overshadow creativity
"The advantage of this job is that you always have something to do, you'll have no time to get bored when you are doing everything! This is also the disadvantage of being a generalist game artist: managing several aspects of creation can slow down the development of a speciality. I see it more as the opportunity to find a speciality later. In addition, the demand for game artists is great in the video game job market. "  
Studio Oh bibi Simon Aublet
Simon Aublet
Game artist at OhBibi

The level of study required

Between a high school diploma + 2 years of higher education and a master’s degree, the level of study needed to be able to become a game artist is quite broad. In high school, a general high school diploma with a speciality in math or arts is preferred. Then, choose a school specialising in video game careers.

game artist
A game artist can draw on paper as well as use digital tools such as a graphics tablet
"After a BTS in visual communication, I followed the DU Game Artist training within Gamagora. It was a concise one-year generalist course that allowed me to understand everything. Following this, I opted for generalist positions that have brought me a lot and now allow me to choose my path after having toured the creative careers of video games. I mainly worked on mobile racing games during my first internships and jobs. I participated in creating a vertical slice for a video game giant, which was unfortunately cancelled. For 2 years, I have been a senior game artist at OhBibi where I mainly work on Frag Pro Shooter and where I participate in other original studio projects. "
Studio Oh bibi Simon Aublet
Simon Aublet
Game artist at OhBibi
The education to pursue

Obtaining the basics of graphics and developing a video game while learning management and project management knowledge are the objectives of our school G. Art. Our in-depth training trains future professionals in video game careers, the latest innovations and technologies, management and gaming culture.

To become a game artist, we, therefore, recommend that you first go through the 2D / 3D Computer Graphics – Game Art bachelor’s degree. It is a three-year diploma that teaches all the basics of video games: technical and digital aspects (software, programming, etc.), to creative culture (gaming, concept art, game design, etc.), including management and communication.

Then, in two years, our Game Artist MBA, recognised at the RNCP Level 7 Title, trains students to create coherent and immersive graphic universes with a component on improving certain subjects seen in bachelor’s degree and with a high-level training course in game art.

During the five years of studies, meetings, internships, masterclasses complete our unique pedagogy based on concrete productions.

Game artist internships

Company internships are a great school to apply the knowledge learned in training and confront the reality on the ground. We offer internship periods from one month to a whole year throughout the years of study. This means in bachelor’s degree:

  • Internships last two months in the 1st and 2nd year
  • Three months at the end of 3rd year

In the MBA:

  • Six months in 4th year
  • A 5th year exclusively in internships and fixed-term contracts

To facilitate your internship search, we regularly publish internship offers. Also, in order to increase your chances, it is possible to find one on sites like Gaming job or Welcome to the jungle.

The salary of a game artist

As soon as they leave their studies, a game artist earns on average between 30,000 and 40,000 euros per year, depending on the company for which they work.

In Canada, they will earn between $ 41,000 and $ 82,000 annually.

In the United States, the salary range is almost the same as in neighbouring Canada. A game artist can earn an average of $ 56,000. Lowest $ 39,000, highest $ 80,000.

character design
If the studio has no specialists, the game artist takes care of all the visual aspects of a video game

Companies that hire

The profession of game artist is sought after by many companies of all sizes, but the responsibilities can be different. So at Oh Bibi, MXM or Vertical, the role of the game artist will be to create the entire graphic environment of the game.

When for large studios, it is rather managerial and project manager profiles that are required.

Possible evolutions

By having this characteristic versatility of working on level design and 3D computer graphics, a game artist can multiply the tasks. So much so that they can quickly evolve and therefore become a project manager or artistic director.

They can work in video games as well as in animation or cinema.

Become a freelance game artist

It is possible to evolve as an independent game artist. A game artist may very well want to work alone, as a freelancer. To achieve this, however, they must have a little experience in a studio. This will be a plus and an argument that will solicit future customers. After creating their business, a freelance game artist will be able to work for one or more studios after negotiating their contract.

If they work from home, they will either collaborate with a team or have contact with one person. The advantage is being able to choose their own customers, responsibilities and organisation. The downside: having little or no visibility.

In summary

Game Artist in video

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How can you become a game artist?

A game artist, a jack-of-all-careers, an artist at heart who knows how to create characters and environments, manages teams of character designers, graphic designers or 3D modellers, is responsible for all aspects of visuals of a video game. Which requires them to master drawing, software, have a video game culture and many other things. Therefore, becoming a game artist is done through a school specialising in video game careers, such as ours, G. Art. In Lyon, we offer training for future professionals both with our 2D / 3D Computer Graphics – Game Art bachelor’s degree and our Game Artist MBA.