8 Pros and Cons of Being a Character Designer

Working for passion while earning a good salary is the best thing ever! And that’s what I experience as a character designer. However, do not just look only at the bright side! I have tough times, too.

Today, I will share the advantages and disadvantages of being a character designer. My insightful guide must be what you need before stepping into this field!

Who Is a Character Designer?

A character designer creates the artwork and concept for a character in video games or movies. More specially, they interpret that character’s personality, physical appearance, and style using illustrations.

For example, a character comes with their own outfits and physical traits. And in many situations, they have different movements and facial expressions. A character designer is responsible for all these aspects.

As a character designer, I have to read the storylines and scripts carefully. Then, I imagine the character in my mind and choose which traits to describe them.

I draw the character that matches what I read. My colleagues and directors also help with this process. They may review my artwork and send me feedback.

Once approved, I start the creation process. It’s often about creating model sheets that others can see from different angles.

Character design

Working with characters is really fun! But it’s not the only thing I get as a character designer. Let me tell you the ups and downs of my job!

There are many benefits of being a character designer. However, the following must be the best.

1. Creative Work Environment

Creativity is the key in this field. Thus, you will immerse yourself in a creative environment when working as a character designer. Everyone around you is passionate about their artwork, and you are part of them. This atmosphere will surely encourage you to work harder to produce more impressive products.

While you have to focus on the scripts when developing your characters, you can decide many things for them, like their outfits. It’s time to push your creativity to the max level!

2. Flexible Hours

You will have deadlines so your boss can keep track of your work. But the good thing is that you can work remotely. So, you can wake up late in the morning and visit your favorite coffee shop to dive into your artwork. You can work anywhere and anytime as long as you follow your deadlines.

You have a flexible schedule

3. Job Opportunities

As a character designer, you can join many types of projects, such as films, video games, comic books, and even commercials. These industries need talented designers to bring their ideas to life.

It means you have many job opportunities. So, take time and choose the perfect match for your talent and interest.

You can even work as a freelancer. This job choice allows you to have your own schedule, choose your project, and establish your rules.

4. High Demand

This job is in high demand, especially in video games, digital media, and animation industries. Since people have higher entertainment requirements, businesses in those industries have to hire skilled artists to serve their customers.

This high demand opens doors for character designers. So, if you choose this career path, you won’t need to worry about unemployment. But of course, to settle for a good job, you must be a good artist.

5. High Salary

As of 2024, a character designer can earn around $108,424 per year. You can get better pay if you prove your skills and experience.

You have good pay

In this section, I’ll talk about the challenges in my job now.

6. Deadlines

The deadlines overwhelm me sometimes because it’s not easy to push my creativity within a limited time frame. The only way to escape is to focus on my artwork. I like working in an isolated room so no one can distract me.

Checking the duty list is essential, too. Before starting my work day, I list what I have to do first. Then, I prioritize the emergency ones.

7. Negative Criticism

The stress comes from negative criticism. We have differing perspectives, so my clients and audience judge my work differently. Some love it, while others don’t.

I try to read all the feedback. If it’s constructive criticism, I accept it and improve my characters based on those opinions. Otherwise, I will skip them.

8. Tough Learning Path

To become a character designer, you should be proficient in illustration, art, graphic design, and animation. There are many things to study until you can apply for this position.

Skills are critical, too. For example, to create characters, you must use graphics software properly. Drawing is also an important aspect to work on.

Once you’ve got all the skills, you can be confident when applying for a character design job. Then, enjoy the benefits I highlighted in the previous section.

You have to study a lot

Should You Become a Character Designer?

Yes, if you are good at art. You should also like to work with patterns and designs. Creativity is another important trait for a character designer.

After considering your ability and interest, you can decide whether to follow this career path. There are many pros to expect. You will cope with struggles, too. So think about two sides of this job, and you will have your own answer.

Final Thoughts

If you work as a character designer, you will have many substantial benefits, such as good pay, high demand, a creative environment, and flexibility.

On the other hand, there are many obstacles on the journey. You will face tight deadlines and receive negative feedback. Moreover, you must study a lot before having all the skills for this job.

But trust me! Those challenges cannot stop you from achieving your dream! With passion and commitment, you can turn them into interesting experiences. So keep going! Good luck with your choice!