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Concept artist above all else must first suspend the disbelief of the viewer.  Often the world that the concept artist is asked to visualize is completely fantastic and made up.  Even if the world does lean heavily on realism, there are still many visual references that and not faithful to real life and thus must be invented by the concept artist.

In order for the concept artist is to succeed in creating an utterly believable world she must be careful to infuse her designs with enough of the visually familiar so that the viewer readily accepts her invitation to participate in her fantastic universe.  There is this technique first utilized in the world of movie visual effects called kit-bashing that has real value for the concept artist.  Briefly the traditional form of kit bashing is when a model builder takes pieces and parts from a variety of commercial model kits and assembles them in such a way so as to create a completely novel and new model, in other words they take an existing model “kit” and “bash” it by taking parts from the kit.

Because the modeler is using visually recognizable components that are familiar to the viewer, the amalgamation of these desperate but familiar components help the viewer believe that the new creation is actually “real.”

For the concept artist the process is almost the same, rather than using actual physical model components, the concept artist finds appropriate reference from varied sources and then brings these familiar visual components together in novel ways to create an image that is completely fantastic yet imminently believable.


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