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How to get into Video Game Industry: Interview Daniel Dociu advice for Artist

Daniel Dociu Master artist interview.  How to get into Video Game Companies:  Job and career choice advice. Getting your foot in the door for aspiring young Artist. Some great advice and tips from one of the best artists/ art director of our time, Daniel Dociu.

Below are the most common questions we received weekly from readers of our blogs:

What does it take to be a concept artist?
What all do you need to learn?
Does it require schooling going into this field?
How does a concept artist job work?
What do you do everyday at work and do you work everyday?

An exclusive interview up close and personal with NCsoft America Chief Art Director and ArenaNet Art Director: Daniel Dociu, former EA (Electronic Art) Art Director, and SquareSoft America Art director. He's been around with the video game industry for over a decade.  Now he is a chief visual art director at NCsoft and ArenaNet.
*He is also my boss*

Here are some of his art work:

copyright Daniel Dociu

copyright Daniel Dociu

copyright Daniel Dociu

Since I received many e-mails asking for art advice, career advice, tips, and all around video game industry questions. How to start? What's it like?

So I decide to conduct a few interviews with many high profile concept artists and art director so that it will inspire young soul and give you a bit of insight of what it takes to be in the Video Game industry.

Here is some advice Daniel Dociu has for young artist. Enjoy the video:

Hope you all enjoy the video interview with master artist, Daniel Dociu.  Thanks again Daniel for his time and all the advice.

Visit him at:

Good luck guys



andreas said…
meh, 3d feels so off to me.
i tried all the major apps, not really working for me this far.

thanks to you both for taking the time and making this video!
its always a good reminder to think about the world outside of once own studio.
Thanks for the comment. Keep drawing...nice work.
snow said…
Daniel has given me a lot of confidence. I really love concept art, but I am doing a Game Art course which is about 70% 3D and the rest concept art, and felt like I was so on the wrong path. Now I know I can use this to my advantage and keep developing my art skills in the meantime, as well as 3D study. And eventually land that concept artist job, as I am happy to start work as a 3d modeller! :P

Thanks for doing this Xia, amazing opportunity to hear from someone like that.
XIA said…
snow> He has a workshop coming up in Jan 2009. See detail on top of the blog and register!!! It will be a great opportunity of a life time. :)
Mozzy said…
My name is Moscos Avgenikos. I live in South Africa and I'm very interested in art and animation. I would like to gather some information about your job at NCSoft so i may make decisions on my subject choices and career choices. I would like to ask how difficult is it to obtain a job at NCSoft and how difficult is the workload and so on. What exactly to you do in your department? I would also like to know if I obtained an Animation degree at a university (BisMultimedia) where would I be able to find work in a gaming company (or maybe even an advertising section in the company) and is this work consistent (in other words will I have a salary, not freelance work).
XIA said…
Mozzy> Yeah um...sorry for the late reply, but I believe I e-mailed you after I saw this blog post a week ago? Hope you got it. :)
-Pippa- said…
hehe I've got my own thing with sketching by hand, but my gosh, just looking through all this, it's captivating! :-)
XIA said…
-Pippa-> Yeah, um...all the pros I knew start of by hand or traditional medium. Then the transition to digital innovation mostly happen thru the jobs and production pipeline. :) Nowadays, it's for everyone.
Anonymous said…
3d -.- Man I want to become a 2d Environmental/Character concept artist & 3d Character designer.

What kind of schooling teaches 3ds Max / Maya?

I've tried Zbrush and I want to use 3ds Max but I have 0% of how to use it.
snow said…
Hi Zombieiscool,

Look I think you just need to look your hardest around for schools, I come from australia and it was pretty difficult to find one. However, as stupid as it sounds, you can practically teach yourself 3D, i know plenty of people in the industry who have - it's a LOT based on portfolio!

Check out tutorials on the Gnomon Workshop and Eat3d, anythings possible, depends how dedicated you are, let me know if you need more help.
XIA said…
Zombieiscool> If you are first of all GREAT and they want you to work for them then you will be. With hard work, determine enough and have enough patience you will. Then you will still have to keep working hard because every kids in the world wants your job. :)
It's a very competitive field, you have to work really hard, love it and be good at it.
Other than that just like SnOW said

Snow> Thanks brother! :)
Floreum said…
What program does Daniel like to use? Painter? Photoshop? Zbrush painter tools? And does the game industry prefer digital art compared to say oil paints?

For some reason, I just can't get into digital art regardless of the fact I have bought a tablet! Hopefully when I graduate this year I will have more time to do anything other than cramming for my diploma exams... and try.
XIA said…
Floreum> He mainly use Photoshop and he doesn't use any 3D application.
Good luck!