Old concept art!

Lately I’ve been going through a lot of different concept artists looking for stylistic inspiration and just like, out of curiosity to see how that scene has changed over the years. While I extremely admire the skill of a lot of contemporary concept artists, I feel like a lot of new stuff tends to be in the same ballpark visually (I guess that’s just because videogames have been going in the “idk, realistic?” direction for a while now? I dunno), while art even 12+ years back is a lot more distinct and memorable even if it isn’t executed fantastically.

There’s a lot of gorgeous stuff out there, and recently I’ve been mining Akihiko Yoshida’s work on Final Fantasy Tactics for stuff to incorporate in my own work. It’s also really weird to think that in roughly this same time period people were turning Chris Metzen’s notebook doodle level drawings into wildly successful video games. I also love Yoshitaka Amano’s work, but I can’t work watercolour at all so it all just feels like magic to me.

This kind of stuff interests me a lot as a visual artist and I usually don’t get to hear people talk about what clicks with them! So what’s some older concept art that has left an impression on you, for better or for worse?


hi swords!

i too also adore concept art for older games! i think my absolute favorite is katsuya terada’s art for the zelda series. they’re gorgeously detailed, and really set a darker tone without making it, like, too gritty looking. and his use of colors are really good! i’m 95% certain that’s not even all of his art for the games in that link, but it’s still a good amount! still, it’s missing my favorite pic of marin from link’s awakening!

also i was gonna talk about sonic’s concept art, because i really loved how much he looks like an old timey cartoon character, like felix the cat, but then i found this list of rejected character designs, and, well, now i can’t stop thinking about what if sonic was a this weird looking chicken dressed like elvis instead


God, that guy on the left was gonna be sonic??? that’s… huh. And I had never heard of Katsuya Terada!! His stuff looks gorgeous!! That entire gallery is beautiful but just the first one with the flying whale creates such a powerful mood with so few details… I love it!!

Sora had a chainsaw and a tail.