This week lead character artist at Larian studios, Alena Dubrovina, took to Artstation with a heartwarming Artblast entry. Not only does it showcase some of Baldur's Gate 3's incredible 3D work, concept art, and animation, it also stands as an attempt to inspire future generations of game artists.
"It is in the artists' nature to doubt ourselves, to constantly ask if we are good enough, struggle and get upset that our art is still not quite there", the post says.
"Well, we have good advice for you—don’t go it alone. Most of the art that you will see in Baldur’s Gate 3 Art Blast is a collaboration. It’s the teamwork and constant help from others that got us here. There were a lot of successes and failures along the way and the art you are about to see is the result of 6 years of hard work."
The main takeaway is that art isn't easy, and it takes iteration to get it right. This is something my tutors instilled in me at university, back when I was studying game art and design, and it’s something that’s been true for every generation of artists:
Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Picasso didn’t pick up a paintbrush and suddenly become a prodigy, it took years of hard graft, feedback from his peers, and learning from those who came before him. Just as creating the perfect D&D character takes a few iterations, and a few deaths, so does creating believable, complex characters for video games (preferably without all the dying).
"We tried to capture the feeling of playing D&D with your friends and mesmerize you with fantastical creatures, heroic adventurers and breathtaking locations," Dubrovina explains.
And the designs really are something to behold.
The post shows off a range of artists work, from senior concept artist Tan Burci's alternative designs for the brewer Thisobald Thorm; to senior 2D artist, Cliff Laureys’ icons; and even senior character artist Wayne Chu’s glorious 3D elder brain sculpts.
There are also heaps of environment art, weapon models, armour designs and more to peruse. So, when you’re not breaking Baldur's Gate 3 by playing as a party of bears, it's worth checking out and following some of the artists behind everyone’s favorite Game of the Year contender.
It's great to see all the game art brought together like this, especially if it can give would-be artists the kick they need to stick with their craft.
Breaking into the games industry can be heartbreakingly difficult, especially when there are so many talented concept artists out there vying for the same positions. But in the words of Alena Dubrovina, "You need to hit the wall just the right amount of times to make a crack." So go and hit some artsy walls, and find out what secret passages their remains might lead to.