A Game Designer Who Hates Art Classes?

A game designer hopeful wrote us to get some guidance on coursework. We thought it’d be helpful to everyone to share the response.

It’s good that you’re so focused on your goal of game art/design.

However, I’m surprised you don’t enjoy classes like sculpture and photography. Most game artists would gladly swap places with you right now to enjoy the creative freedom and opportunity to learn. Seriously. For them, those two subjects would be the definition of fun. (They are for me!) They also call upon many of the same skills you’d need as a game artist – an eye for composition, form, line, juxtaposition. If you lack those skills, or don’t enjoy using them, perhaps you should re-evaluate your career goals using a book like “What Color Is Your Parachute”. I don’t mean that as a knock – it’s just very surprising to hear of a would-be game artist who doesn’t enjoy art classes.

Even though it’s not digital art, these studio art classes are important to your development and ability to work in the industry. (Sculpture translates directly into 3D modeling, and photography helps with a lot of aspects of design and art.) The best game artists live and breathe art. They are constantly doodling and creating in both digital and traditional forms. Most of them have at least some classical training like the training you’re dreading now. Artists who only have digital skills almost always cannot do the same quality of work. You’d think it wouldn’t be obvious, but you can really tell the difference in the quality.

In short, you need to broaden your definition of art and design. Enjoy these classes, and if you find them odious, you should really find out why.

On 6/20, C, D <> wrote:

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Caveats: NONE

I am bored because I have to take sculpture, photography and what does that have to do with gaming.  I don’t like doing that kind of stuff.  Why can’t they teach me what it is that I need to learn.  I guess school or college is not for me but I need them to help me obtain my goal.  So how can I get pass all this in order to more ahead.  My parents are riding my back and the more they ride me the more discouraged I get.  I love drawing my own cartoon characters, and the ideas in my head, but there are no trade school in my area.

Can you give me some advise on how to get past this so I can accomplish my goal.  I would appreciate all the help I can get.

—–Original Message—–
From:
Sent: Tuesday, June 19 5:14 PM
To:
Subject: Re: Gaming (UNCLASSIFIED)

D,

I’m not sure why you’re bored. I would hope that the courses would be a bit exciting. What kind of courses are problematic for you? Are you bored because the courses don’t seem related to game work?

On 6/18,  < > > wrote:

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Hello,

My name is D, and I am a sophomore in college.  I am very interested in game design/art.  I find it very frustrating to maintain what I learn in school.  I find the classes they are offering to me very tedious and boring.  I need to know how I can maintain my studies the rest of my college years.  We don’t have a tech school by me to attend so that means I have to go to college.  I will get my B.F.A. so any advise on how to stay alert with the classes. Thanks.

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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