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Not into game design? Here are 3 other ways to combine art & gaming

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Without art, the games we have come to know and love would be nothing but lines of script on a screen. It takes teams of artists many years to create the expansive and immersive worlds, characters, and weapons in our favorite games like Elden Ring. However, artists are needed in the industry for far more than just designing games. 

Game design might not be in every artist’s pathway, especially those who prefer physical mediums and 2D art. Luckily, there are many other ways that artists can connect their passions without having to learn to use popular 3D tools.

Check out some of the other real-world opportunities that combine art and gaming:

Graphic Design

2D artists, rejoice! There is always a need for graphic designers in the gaming industry and adjacent fields. Whether creating an esports teams’ logo and brand kit, making engaging social media graphics for a gaming company, or creating unique emojis for an up-and-coming streamer’s community, graphic designers are always needed for a variety of projects. 

To find work as a graphic designer within the gaming industry, you can find full-time work at an agency, firm, or start-up. You can also freelance independently by connecting with potential clients in online communities through Twitch and Discord. Make sure your portfolio is up to date for a higher chance of standing out. 

Fashion Design

The intersection of fashion and gaming is having a moment right now, particularly in competitive esports. There are dozens of companies like XSET (and even publishers like Riot Games) that create apparel for gamers, and they rely on artists and designers to generate all sorts of concepts.

Also, there’s more than just day-to-day street fashion in the gaming industry. Artists who enjoy working with physical mediums tend to find fulfillment in designing cosplay outfits. Some artists may only create cosplay concepts for models, while others go all out by building their own outfits with materials like craft foam and acrylic paint. 

Painting

Speaking of paint, there are even opportunities for painters to find work in the gaming industry. While finding full-time work in gaming for this specific career path is a bit more challenging, there is an abundance of freelance gigs that will help build any portfolio, especially if you are just starting to paint professionally.

With enough inventory on hand, painters can post up at booths at conventions, music festivals, and other gamer-targeted events to sell their work, and they may even be able to live paint while they’re there.

LAN centers and physical esports facilities hire muralists to create striking designs to match a brand’s identity. Painters may also find fulfillment and extra cash by live-streaming their craft on a Twitch channel. 

Whether artists decide to pursue college, enter a certificate program, or self-teach, the breadth of opportunity in the gaming industry expands far beyond game design. There are endless ways to lend your skills to gaming.

By Monica Miller, PCA&D Esports Consultant

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