Jonas Hassibi talks about what inspired him to get into concept art, why you should be "working smart” and the importance of really understanding a brief…
3dtotal: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hey artists! My name is Jonas Hassibi and I'm an "Animation & Game” student near Frankfurt in Germany. Currently I am finishing my bachelor's degree with a game project in a team of four people, where I have the role of the concept artist. I hope to work as a concept artist in the game industry in the future.
The first bigger production concept for a game project at university. It shows the deep cut from the rich and poor people in a society after natural catastrophes caused by climatic change
3dt: Who are your favorite artists? Who inspires you?
One of my favorite classic painters is Jean-Léon Gérôme. His composition and storytelling skills are exceptional in my opinion and you almost could use some of his artworks as concept art for games. The Naughty Dog crew is a long time favorite of mine, as is Sung Choi, who brought a lot of original ideas to the industry. Today I really love the work of Karakter - I fell in love with the idea of Intrinsic Design
and try to incorporate it in my own art.
3dt: How did you get into creating concept art? What do you enjoy about it?
When I was fourteen my mother bought me an art book from World of Warcraft
. I was blown away by the drawings and sketches but I couldn't imagine that this is a real job. At the age of eighteen I discovered the tutorials of Feng Zhu and understood that you can make a living by drawing aliens, knights and spaceships. Since then I've worked on my craft and still can't believe that I design video game worlds as a job.
In the game, the poor built on top of the destroyed city with everything what they found. The billboard in the slum is the first POI of sparking the revolution for the player to reach
3dt: What would you say is the single most important aspect when creating concept art?
For me it is so important to grasp the core idea of the brief. You need to know exactly what the purpose of the design is; every mark and decision has to enhance this focus. For example, you have the task of creating a dark isolated house, where the player should feel afraid; then every paint stroke, from the big silhouettes to the tiniest detail, should work towards this core idea.
3dt: How do you create your art? What software or tools do you use or prefer?
In a normal process I start with writing down the core ideas and how I am going to accomplish them. For that I use Evernote
. Once I decided how I will work I start sketching, sometimes on paper but sometimes directly in a 3D program. 3DCoat
is my mainly used tool since it is so fast. After that I bring it to Octane
where I will assemble a whole scene and last I paint in Photoshop
to compose everything in a pleasing way.
A small settlement in the age of colonialism is transitioning in a bigger city with the arrival of new settlers
3dt: What piece of work are you most proud of and why?
The favorite piece of mine is "Settlement Bay” because I was able to accomplish ideas about my process of concept art that I had been thinking about for a long time. The idea was to start inside the concept, having the core ideas in mind. Then build precisely custom designed props and "kitbash” the entire image still maintaining my direction towards the bigger goal. In this piece the process paid off and I have since used and refined it for later concepts.
3dt: What new skills, techniques or software would you like to learn in the future?
Lately I've gotten into VR and was amazed how far developed it is. I am experimenting with implementing it into my workflow and I am absolutely convinced it will be a great part of my process in the future. In the long term I have my eyes on procedural stuff. The idea of feeding the core concept of a design in into an AI and getting out hundreds of results blew me away. So I definitely want to learn a program like Houdini
in the future.
Two future heroes at practice. Shouldn't they help their parents on the field?
3dt: What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
My personal advice to artists would be "Work smart.” I think as a student, but also professional, it is easy to fall into the attitude of working really hard and long. In my opinion it is way more efficient to plan smartly, work out when the best time for you to work is, when can I take you break, when will you have time to meet your family etc., and overall trying become a more balanced person. Quality before quantity
3dt: If you weren't an artist, what do you think you'd be doing?
When I just finished school I always considered getting into science. I was thrilled by the universe and nature. Today I would study to become a biologist or an astrophysicist.
A trading harbor in the clouds. The perfect place for sky adventurers, diplomats and merchants.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next? Any cool projects we should look out for?
Currently I am working on a game with my fellow students at university. We hope to finish it after the bachelor's degree and working towards publishing it on Steam Greenlight or similar.
Head over to Jonas Hassibi's website to see more of his fantastic concept art
If you'd like to learn how to make concept art like Jonas why not pick up a copy of Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Sci-fi and Fantasy and get making!
Jonas' portfolio can also be found here
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 8 is also an invaluable resource for anyone looking to get into creating concept art
Follow Jonas on Instagram for updates and cool stuff