Author: Berts Njoroge
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 2D Concept Artist?

Getting the value of your 2D artist can be a tricky endeavour. Luckily, this article has all you need to know. Whether you are getting the best artist services your business needs or not. 

There are different ways you can know if you are getting the most out of your 2D artist. First, understand their skills and whether they will use them to deliver quality work. The cost of their services should be beyond their job. However, cost shouldn't be a parameter, but what they deliver matters. 

This article explains how you can equate the cost and 2D artist services. It explains, in-depth, how much you should pay an artist, on average, without compromising on the quality. 

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 2D Concept Artist?

Do you think you are getting the most out of your concept art? Sometimes, 2D concept artists may be underrated or overrated as most people think that concept creation is not as complex as artists describe. In contrast, others pay higher for suitable standards and specific requirements.

As of March 6, 2022, the average annual pay for a 2D concept artist is $ 56112 a year. That works out to be around $ 26.98 an hour, equivalent to $ 1079 a week or $4674 per month. According to ZipRecruiter, annual salaries are as high as $ 83500 to as low as $17500. 

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 2D Concept Artist?

Most 2D concept artist salaries currently range from $43000 (25th percentile) to $68000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $79000 annually.

 The average pay range for a 2D Concept artist varies greatly, suggesting there may be many opportunities for improvements and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of expertise. 


What skills does a 2D concept artist need?

Concept artists must have practical imagination to bring the ideas of others to life. The critical skill of a concept artist is interpreting a brief followed by constant development and refinement until the final design is approved. Here is a list of essential skills that a good concept artist must possess.

1. Knowledge of Maya 

Maya, also known as Autodesk Maya, is a software and a graphic application used to create 3D models, effects, and assets in such 3D products as films, video games, architectural plans and models, and other often interactive pieces of media.

Since the late 1990's Maya has become a standard and one of the core tools in the film and video game industries, has become a part of the primary learning curriculum in schools ardent to these crafts, and has been used in many well-known movies.   

2. Visual Designing skills

Visual designing is a process where an artist uses visuals and graphics to communicate to the user—a visual design purpose is to increase a product's aesthetic appeal. A visual design consists of lines, white spaces, layout, color, and typography. 

Each component is implemented to draw the customer towards it. Various styles and textures are usually seen in visual design. An excellent 2D concept artist should possess visual designing skills.

3. Graphic designing skills

Graphic design is the art of creating visual content to transmit messages. The designer uses pictures and letters to apply different page layout methods and visual hierarchies to meet users' needs. Most institutions use graphic design to sell and advertise their services or products and precise, complex information using infographics.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 2D Concept Artist? 

4. Storyboard skills 

A storyboard is an art design that visualizes creating creatures, characters, vehicles, and other environments. Storyboarding helps the VFX teams to organize for production. 

5. Art Direction Skills

Art direction is an essential job in the activities related to theatre, fashion advertising, the film industry, and publishing. All these fields are connected with art; hence they require direction and supervision concerning this very aspect of the job. It's accountable for how a product turns out visually.

6. Character designing skills

As a 2D concept artist, you should know how to develop characters. Working from a description handed by a writer or director, you should develop illustrations and drawings reflecting a character's personality. 

To develop a simple description of a real character, style, and traits, you must be intensely creative. 

7. Visual development Skills

Visual development involves developing all the visual aspects of graphic design, animation, illustration, and video gaming. It involves controlling the color, mood, and tone of an image or a video. You need graphic development skills to conduct visual development processes.

8. ZBrush Skills

ZBrush refers to a 3D rendering program used mainly by video game developers and film studios. The program is known as a sculpting tool because of its texturing and modeling abilities. A good concept artist should have 3D knowledge to produce ZBrush textured character busts to visualize better concepts selected in-game.

How much does it cost to hire a 2D concept artist?

How much does 2D cost might be the first question to cross your mind when you think of hiring a concept artist. In some cases, concept art can be underestimated or overestimated. Some people believe that concept creation is not as complex as artists describe, while others pay higher amounts to get work done according to suitable standards and specific requirements. 

For an artist to give you the total for his 2D art cost, you need to give him all the project details to analyze and estimate the complexness of the project. The whole game will be based on the concept of art that it will design, including their clothes, environments, accessories, various weapon, characters, and all the details that create the images.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 2D Concept Artist?

However, hiring costs may differ from company to company, artist to artist, but substantial factors affect the final price of 2D concept art.  

Factors that affect 2D Concept art prices.

1. Time Invested In The Project

Time is one of the crucial variables when calculating 2D art costs. Creating quality concept art takes time and the time dedicated to a project turns for the game artist into money. The longer it takes to complete concept art, the longer the 2D art will be. If you want to speed up the completion of the art, the more you have to pay.

2. Number of Game Artists Working On Your Game   

 The more artists working on your project, the higher the cost. The complexity of art is one factor that changes the prices. 

3. The Details You Want To Add To Your Game 

Good art is determined by the quality of conceptual art and the details of the images. The more information, the more alive the game will be. That means extra work for the game artist will increase

4. The art cost

It is one thing to work on character design with already created characters in the same style, and it's another thing to develop an entire project with many environments, textures, and other assets from scratch.   

How to Calculate 2D Art Cost  

To calculate the cost of 2D art, you need to figure out the concept's artist's hourly rate and multiply it by the hours it takes to complete the job. If you want an extensive range of ideas, you hire more experts. 

So remember to multiply the amount of money by the number of artists required for the project. Also, don't forget some additional details, complexity, style, etc. The more the requirement, the more the cost.

Rate x hour= $...

(Rate x hour) x number of artists= $.....

Concept+ details= $...

Concept artist rates around the world

The table below represents game artist rates asking hourly, depending on the type of art and the level of expertise.






2D concept artist rates

$ 1-$35




OTHER( hourly rate)






A 2D concept artist's salary may vary depending on the location, level of expertise, and complexity of the project. Some countries like the USA have higher prices than other countries like Ukraine. This is due to external factors such as living standards, economic paradigm, and many more.

To know if you are getting the most out of your 2D concept art, you have to learn how to calculate the rates of concept artists based on your location, complexity of the art experience, and skills level of the artist.

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