Principal Concept Artist

Gateshead, England, United Kingdom · Newcastle upon Tyne / Gateshead · Studio expand job description ↓



Principal Concept Artists are responsible for leading teams to create concepts in a broad range of styles in accordance with the requirements of each project/client.

The role also requires you to be hands-on creating artwork and design at all stages of the development cycle, including concept and idea generation, fast sketching (including storyboards), colour/ light studies and polished illustration work.

You will work closely with the Production Team to give realistic time estimates for up-coming projects and give clear guidance to the Artists to ensure the project is delivered on time and to quality expectations.

The role involves approximately 80% art creation and 20% management.

The successful candidate will be able to work quickly and should consistently deliver innovative/high quality ideas and polished final art/designs.

You should be confident working directly with clients and be comfortable discussing projects with members of Atomhawk's production and senior management teams.

Given the wide-range of Clients we work with you will be proficient in a broad range of styles commonly found in Movies, Games and Traditional Art.

You will work closely with the Art Manager to identify training and development opportunities for your team and play an active role in monthly artist one-to-ones and bi-annual appraisals.

Hierarchy and Reporting Lines

You will report to the Art Manager and share the day to day line management of the art team alongside the other Principal Artists (x3)



  • Creating quality art for characters, environments, objects to various levels of finish and time constraints
  • Visual storytelling, ensuring that the image captivates the viewer’s imagination
  • Ability to provide clear and constructive written and verbal feedback to other members of the art team based on Clients requirements.
  • Working directly with clients, producers and senior management to direct and plan projects
  • Shared line management of the art team, including monthly one-to-one meetings with artists and involvement in bi-annual appraisals.
  • Involvement in shaping and refining internal creative processes
  • Involvement in art team recruitment, including candidate assessment and interviews
  • Works alongside Art Manager to set the training objectives and plans for the art team

Skills Required

  • Fluent with Photoshop, and a high capacity to learn new tools
  • Strong art background in traditional art skills
  • The ability to match and define a variety of art styles with minimal supervision from management staff
  • Strong anatomical knowledge - Character design, unique and interesting characters in a range of styles
  • Architectural knowledge – Strong understanding of the layout and special proportions a range of buildings, both realistic and imaginary.
  • Mechanical design knowledge - Knowledge of industrial design principals and their application to fictional vehicles, machines, weapons etc
  • Good sense of light, form, tone, palette
  • Must be able to paint/sketch at speed
  • Ability to lead multiple projects

Skills Considered a Bonus

  • Experience with 3-D software (Z-Brush, MODO, 3DSMax or Maya etc) a plus
  • Good knowledge of videogames and films

Education and Experience

  • +4 years’ experience working within a videogame, agency or film-production environment
  • A portfolio that demonstrates the ability to meet / exceed industry standard level of art
  • Previous experience of Leading a team / project
  • Professional art training is desirable but not essential

Personal Specification

In addition to having an excellent foundation of artistic ability, the role requires working as part of a team and so enthusiasm and good communication skills are needed. We are looking for a grounded and pragmatic team player. Confident without being arrogant, this person will want to play an active role in building an awesome culture within the studio.


Atomhawk offer a number of schemes to full time members of our Gateshead team, including:

  • Competitive salary, holiday and relocation allowance
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Staff share scheme
  • 'No-crunch' policy, giving the team a great work-life balance
  • A city centre studio location, overlooking the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside.
  • A structured career progression system, including bi-annual appraisals and ongoing professional training and development

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