Splash Artist

The role, salary, software, and skills of a video game splash artist

Image: Tyler James (Blizzard)

What does a splash artist do?

A splash artist is responsible for the look and feel of a game's loading screens, helping to keep players immersed while the game loads. This can include a game's logo, title screen, and other key images (characters, environments, etc.) that players see in between levels and challenges. Splash art illustrators also create art for a game’s auxiliary media (booklets, marketing, etc.).

Splash art illustrators are commonly used for games that play individual matches (like League of Legends) or have frequent load screens.  

Splash artist job description

Splash artists work with game programmers and designers to create a cohesive look for a game's loading screens. Splash art is the first thing players see when they start up the game, and it can set the tone for the entire experience — it helps bring detail to the characters and key moments of a game to help further immerse players in its world. 

Role and responsibilities of a splash artist in video games:

  • Craft high-quality 2D Splash Illustrations with minimum oversight.

  • Maintaining the illustration quality and mentoring vendors by participating in review meetings and providing constructive feedback to external art teams.

  • Sharing of craft expertise and knowledge through discipline community, mentorship, and art collaboration.


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Skills required to become a splash artist for games

A splash artist needs to have a strong sense of composition and design. They need to be able to create a visually appealing piece that captures the essence of the game world. They will also need to be skilled in digital art and illustration to create realistic and detailed images.

Video game companies may look for the following skills in a splash artist:

  • Showcase the ability to create high-quality 2D splash illustrations, from thumbnails to the final product

  • Extreme proficiency in art fundamentals, visual storytelling, anatomy, lighting, materials, and color theory

  • Expertise in splash style, including stylized anatomy, heroic compositions, and cinematic/realistic believability

  • Advanced experience creating high-end digital art assets in Adobe Photoshop

  • Highly experienced with 2D illustration asset production pipelines

What software and tools do splash artists use?

Splash artists use a variety of software and tools which allow them to create detailed, high-quality images. Some popular programs include Photoshop and Illustrator. Splash artists may also use 3D software to create more immersive and realistic game worlds.

Splash artists may need knowledge of a combination of the following software:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Corel Painter
  • Zbrush
  • Maya
  • Knoll Light Factory
  • Terragen
  • Mudbox
  • Filter Forge
  • 3D Studio Max

How much does a splash artist make?

The salaries of Concept/splash Artists in the US range from $57,042 to $85,562, with a median salary of $71,302. (Source: Comparably)



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