What does a Character Artist do?

Character artists develop concepts for characters and then bring those characters to life, either drawing them by hand or using digital design tools. They render sketches and use illustration software programs to produce artistic projects. They collaborate with designers, art directors, and other creative professionals to establish and refine the vision for the characters, setting, and other elements.

Character artists may have a college degree or a diploma from a technical training program – often in an art or design field – but experience and demonstration of talent and ability is generally more important to employers, who will ideally want to see a portfolio of past work. These artists must have an understanding of anatomy, lighting, color theory, texture, and other artistic concepts. Some roles may require specialized skills in areas such as animation or 3D modeling.

What responsibilities are common for Character Artist jobs?
  • Collaborate with fellow artists, and teams to produce the highest quality characters.
  • Partner with creative leads to conceptualize and model characters and hard surface accessories based on original art and photographic reference.
  • Collaborate with the character technical directors to help define modeling standards for rigging, deformation, and simulation within performance budgets, and other run-time requirements.
  • Review work from external partners and provide detailed direction and feedback.
  • Become familiar with new tools, performance capture hardware, software and data, and other emerging modeling techniques.
  • Actively participate in milestone planning, reviews, and bids for new work.
  • Experience collaborate with designers, animators, riggers, engineers to develop new solution/tool/tech/pipeline.
What are the typical qualifications for Character Artist jobs?
  • Expert level drawing skills.
  • Hands-on experience with Unreal Engine and similar tools.
  • Comfortable using programs like Mudbox and ZBrush software.
  • Fluent with Python and other programming languages.
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Character Artist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$64,094 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$44K
Median: $64K
$93K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Character Artist Career Path

Learn how to become a Character Artist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Character Artist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
5%
2 - 4
95%
5 - 7
0%
8+
0%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Character Artist Insights

Read what Character Artist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Karacters 4 Kids
Character Performer
Apr 11, 2022

“It was a good hourly rate when I worked there at $50 an hour.”

Adaptive Immersion Technologies
Lead Character Artist
Mar 31, 2022

“Boss is great to work with and understanding”

ZeniMax OnlineZeniMax Online
Lead Character Artist
Oct 2, 2022

“The products are highly successful so job security is great.”

Kung Fu FactoryKung Fu Factory
Senior 3D Character Artist
Apr 3, 2021

“Work and life balance are good.”

A44 GamesA44 Games
3D Character Artist
Apr 22, 2022

“Great people and project.”

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts
Character Artist
Feb 10, 2022

“some people are really great to work with”

RebellionRebellion
Junior Character Artist
Sept 26, 2020

“Good work/ life balance”

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts
Character Artist
Feb 9, 2021

“Good benefits overall I would say”

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Character Artist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Character Artist

The most similar professions to Character Artist are:
  • Concept Artist
  • Environment Artist
  • Game Artist
  • 3D Artist

Related Careers

Concept Artist
$65,015
No skills overlap
Environment Artist
$64,609
No skills overlap
Game Artist
$63,548
No skills overlap
3D Artist
$57,921
No skills overlap

Character Artist jobs