Get That Job Daily: How to be an art director

Get That Job Daily: How to be an art director
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

January 13th 2014 at 11:58AM

Guerrilla Games’s Misja Baas discusses the key skills needed for his role in art direction

Every working day this month, as part of our New Year, New Job 2014 special, Develop brings you a game industry professional to explain what their job involves and key advice to help you follow in their footsteps.

Art director

Misja Baas, project art director on Killzone: Shadow Fall, at Guerrilla Games, tells you what it takes to lead the art team on one of the new generation’s most striking launch titles.

What is your job role?
I am the project art director for Killzone: Shadow Fall. This means that I develop and communicate the high-level vision of what our game needs to look like.

How would someone become an art director?
You move into that role through experience. Typically lead, senior or principal artists first move into an assistant art director role and then become art director.

What qualifications and/or experience do you need?
You need to be a good communicator and have a keen eye for what looks good and what doesn’t. You need to know how to get the most out of the means that you have and you need to be able to identify what works well and what’s not worth the effort.

You always need to know what’s best for the project. That means that sometimes you should be very ambitious and sometimes you need to be very pragmatic.

What do you look for when recruiting a new art director?
We don’t recruit art directors. We grow them within the company. However a critical eye for visual quality, the ability to provide good and clear feedback, the ability to present your ideas and excellent communication skills are key.

What opportunities are there for career progression?
Not much to be honest. It is kind of the last stop [for this particular field].

Why choose to follow a career in your field?
Because you get to define what a game should look like and work with very talented professionals to realise that.

If you’d like to get involved with Get That Job Daily, contact aaron.lee@intentmedia.co.uk. You can take a look at all the available art vacancies over at our Develop Jobs section.

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.