Video Game Art Directors


Employment Prospects


Video game art directors are involved in computer and video game design work all over the country for game companies large and small. The largest employers are located in California, Texas, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts. Electronic Arts is the largest independent publisher of interactive entertainment, including several development studios. Big media companies such as Disney also have interactive entertainment departments. Jobs should be available at these companies as well as with online services and interactive networks, which are growing rapidly.

Starting Out

Since an art director's job requires a great deal of experience, it is usually not considered an entry-level position. Typically, a person on a career track toward art director is hired as an assistant to an established director. Recent graduates wishing to enter the game industry should develop what is called a demo reel. This is a type of portfolio in which the work is interactive and shows moving animations and backgrounds as opposed to pictures of static images. Demo reels can show your skill in composition, color, light, motion, presentation, and craftsmanship. It should reflect a wide breadth of styles and show work in more than just one genre of game. This will show that you are versatile as well as creative.

Video game art directors have prior experience in lower positions before advancing to the level of director, so be willing to do your time and acquire credentials by working on various projects. Starting out as an intern or assistant in an art department is a good way to get experience and develop skills.

Advancement Prospects

Video game art directors are not entry-level workers. They usually have years of experience working at lower-level jobs in the field before gaining the knowledge needed to supervise projects. This experience will help them manage their artistic staff and solve problems quickly when necessary.

Some may be content upon reaching the position of art director, but many video game art directors take on even more responsibility within their organizations, and become game producers, develop original multimedia programs, or create their own games.

Many people who get to the position of art director do not advance beyond the title but move on to work at more prestigious game developers. Competition for positions at companies that have strong reputations continues to be keen because of the sheer number of talented people interested in the field. At smaller game developers, the competition may be less intense, since candidates are competing primarily against others in the local market.

Tips for Entry

Visit for a database of thousands of animation-related companies.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:

  • Animation World Network (
  • (
  • (
  • Gamasutra (
  • Dice (

Attend the Game Developers Conference ( to network and participate in continuing education opportunities.