The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Art

June 25th, 2022
The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Art

A Video Game Artist creates the elements in the video game. Everything you see, without the artist there is not a game. You might see lines of code on a computer screen with the designer telling you his idea. Not my idea of a good time.

Creating Your Own Worlds and Sharing Them In Ours

A Video Game Artist creates the elements in the video game.  Everything you see, without the artist there is not a game.  You might see lines of code on a computer screen with the designer telling you his idea.  Not my idea of a good time.

The Artist creates the concept art, computer graphic or sprites, character models, environments, and so much more!  Turn on a game you like and pause it.  Just look at all the elements that go into that one screenshot. 

How many artists contributed to that game? 

How many concepts were thrown away to get to that final brainchild?


McKenzie College’s VIDEO GAME ART program has 2 paths to entry:

1. Visual Art Foundation: students are taught key skills and techniques that will lay that foundation into further studies.

2. Video Game Art Prep: (Online Only): For students with an above-average portfolio. June starts only.

The game style gives the game it’s identity. Being an artist can be the most rewarding jobs because you are creating characters and bringing life to a world that didn’t exist previously. While TV, comic books, and movies can grab our attention.

Video games are unlike any of these art forms because they let us interact with ever-changing technology. A video game artist must create a world from every angle because your character walks around and can see every angle. When we watch movies and TV, we only see the angle the director wants us to see.

The video game industry has been moving the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and expression. They have evolved from simple representations, (does anyone remember pong?) To amazing complex characters, the video game artist needs to ever-evolve with the technology and adapts their art along with it.

You can see a BIG difference from one to another
You can see a BIG difference from one to another

What Does it Take?


You need to love to draw, really love to draw. Most experienced artists will tell you to fill a sketchbook a month. Traditional Art and Digital Art are both very important, it’s easier to correct a mistake on paper in the creative stage than in the digital.


““Getting your art into a game engine shows that you can make art that works in a game.””

— Jodie Azhar, Teazelcat Games

““I often see portfolios with just a couple of images to review. As a young artist, you should be producing a lot of art.””

— Olivier Leonardi, Ubisoft Reflections


Collaboration is key in a design studio. Working as a team to get the video game from development to production is how top video game design companies are so successful.

Your work will be a part of something bigger, at first, you may have to compromise and your concept may not be the winning idea. You may need to follow someone else’s vision, but rest assured as time goes on and your experience grows. You will see your work in games for decades to come.


Yes, you will find some who have “made it” and are “really big” in the industry who dropped out or didn’t go to school, but you will also find that it is really rare and that they are immensely talented.  

Many Game developers will only hire people who have Post-secondary education and specific skills to Game Design.  The industry is just too busy to have to train people, you need to prove you have the skills in this fast-paced and demanding environment.  

Here’s the good news, McKenzie College has what you need.  Our Instructor, Mike Roy, has created a program that is second to none.  Graduates walk out industry ready, Confident, and with a portfolio that sets them on a path to a great career. 


McKenzie College Video Game Art Program

Studying in a collaborative team environment, our students will learn about the process of creating the visual assets for modern interactive games.  Students will quickly advance their skills while building and extensive traditional and digital portfolio.  We focus on developing conceptualization and artistic skills, and creative problem-solving.  

Using leading tools and software, students will be well prepared for a position at a modern interactive game studio.


~ Design Process                                            ~ Concept Art

~ Character Design                                         ~ Digital Painting & Coloring

~ Character Modeling/Sculpting               ~ Background Design

~ Shape Language in Design                      ~ Intro to Animation

~ Prop and Vehicle Design                            ~ User Interface

Learn more about this program, such as possible career paths, admission requirements, tuition and fees, and how to apply, visit online at video-game-art      

Contact an Admissions Advisor at

We support the development of great thinkers while teaching them how to use ever-changing technical resources.  We prepare students to enter the workforce, begin the career of their dreams, and to Be Remarkable.