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Our 5 Favorite Resources for Game Artists

Kolibri Games’ Artists Recommendations from Concept Art to Animation

May 24, 2021 | 8 minute read

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At Kolibri Games, we currently have 13 artists working in functions ranging from our game art, to concept design, backgrounds, events, and of course character creation. We also have talented Kolibris designing and creating our advertising, merch, and social media posts. While we already combine all kinds of expertise and powerful skills in our art departments, we support and encourage our artists to keep learning new things. Learning is one of our core values, and our artists hold biweekly art sessions, where they create and present their art to each other as well as learn more about development tools like Unity. 

In the following post, our artists share some of their must-know resources for getting creative and honing their craft. Grab your pencils or art pad and get artsy with us.

Sketchbook of Loish – Art In Progress 

By Lois van Baarle

Aurora, 2D Artist

I do have an art book I really like from one of my favorite artists out there that has been inspiring me throughout my young adulthood. It’s called “Sketchbook of Loish – Art In Progress” and showcases Lois van Baarle’s (Loish is her internet name) drawing progress. It taught me how to bring an idea to life by sketching and coloring, and stays a huge inspiration to me to this day. Whenever I’m stuck, it’s my go-to resource to get out of an art block.

I would recommend this book to other artists because it really helps if you feel stuck in a drawing, usually since sketching is such a liberating way to not think too much about what you’re drawing and is used mostly to get a general idea down on paper.

It has also been helping me in my career since a big part of my job as a 2D artist is to create sketches/concepts and make sure they are easily readable for Product Managers.

 

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

By James Gurney

Josip, Senior Game Artist

Probably the best book I’ve ever read on color was James Gurney’s “Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter”. Gurney is a household name in the art and illustration world, so a big must-see resource for me. He’s only working with traditional media (to my knowledge), but his principles apply in the digital space as well. He offers a lot of practical knowledge, that I find myself referencing again and again in my work.

Gurney’s also been blogging for years and releasing a lot of YouTube process videos that I can highly recommend as well. Absolutely fantastic stuff!

 

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The Animator’s Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators

By Richard Williams

Katherine, Senior 2D Artist

The Animator’s Survival Kit is something I’ve been using as a guide since college and I still revisit it now and then. A must for any animator! I used to be a traditional animator before transitioning to a career in games and starting at Kolibri Games. I like that I still get to animate occasionally when we are creating new characters, so this book holds up and never really gets old to me. 

Other animators that inspire me include James Baxter, Milt Kahl, and Yutaka Nakamura. I take inspiration from many genres and styles and I don’t limit myself to one at a time. I think that this is especially important for an animator, as each project gives you a new style or character to draw. This mindset certainly helped me adapt to the style of Idle Miner Tycoon quickly, and now I have even influenced the characters and how they are drawn – bringing the life of animation even to still images. And with the vast number of themes, we show in event mines, there’s always something somewhere that can inspire me anew.

If you want to get your career in art started, you can read here about how to become a game artist at Kolibri Games

 

Alex Steinweiss, the Inventor of the Modern Album Cover

By Kevin Reagan

Barry, Senior Brand Marketing Artist

As a brand artist, as opposed to a game artist, I look for more design and visual communication references than for character inspiration, or narrative art. Alex Steinweiss’ designs from the 1940s through 1970s are still so fresh and vibrant, that I can turn to this book one hundred times and find a new idea to play with on every page. It’s amazing to look at the compositions and juxtapositions of type and image that were possible in the days before Photoshop and feel the finely-tuned sense of balance and proportion that underscore even his most unconventional designs.

Steinweiss had the interesting job of designing for composers and artists who all had their own identities, while also building a “house style” that suggested all these voices were under the same roof – Columbia Records. Kolibri Games doesn’t have the same design needs, but the book is a treasure trove of inspiration nevertheless.

 

Designing with Color and Light with Nathan Fowkes

By Schoolism

Sandra, 2D Artist 

I took my first class on Schoolism a while ago and it was so impressive to see the elite sharing their ways of making art and their tips and tricks. Schoolism is the perfect place to learn all about illustration and concept art with a large variety of lessons that you can take. I watched the class “Designing with Color and Light with Nathan Fowkes” and it was amazing! The instructors are top professionals in the industry (Disney, Dreamworks…), and the fact that they share their knowledge is super inspiring and useful.

When I was starting to draw, all I ever wanted was to understand how these great artists work. The courses helped me to think about composition, light, colors – it shows you the foundation of art.

In games, many times, we have to sketch and conceptualize something very quickly and the challenge is to present your idea and deliver the vision and message correctly. The class helped me understand the process, and make it smoother and more natural to how I work.

 

Feeling creative now? 

Check out our open positions in our product teams below:

Written by Laura Brandes

Interested in working in our Product team?

3D Isometric Artist (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

Game Designer (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

Junior QA Tester (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

QA Tester (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

Technical Producer (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

Unity Tech Lead (f/m/d)

Full-Time Berlin, Germany

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