How to get a job at ILM

ImagineFX|July 2020

How to get a job at ILM
Tom May speaks to ILM and discovers what skills you need to join the studio’s concept art team
Tom May

It’s many artists’ dream to work on a big film like Star Wars and with Industrial Light & Magic’s London studio always looking out for new talent, it’s possible to turn that dream into a reality.

At our Vertex event from earlier this year, ILM’s Jason Horley, Pablo Dominguez and Bimpe Alliu gave a talk on that very topic. Here, we bring you the highlights and reveal how to create a well-rounded and varied portfolio that’s geared towards the requirements of ILM.


It’s been a source of debate among concept artists for some time: do you need 3D skills, or can you get by on 2D talent alone? Well, Jason was emphatic that at ILM at least, that debate is over. ”Every artist in our department has to have the ability to work in both 2D and 3D,” he said. “In our work, speed is a key factor, so you need to be versatile, and adapt to whatever the brief is. I’ve been to universities and met people studying concept art and I’m surprised that some of them still aren’t using 3D yet. It can be a bit daunting, but it’s definitely an essential tool.”

That said, you don’t have to invest in expensive software. “There are some free packages out there,” pointed out Bimpe. “For example, Maya has a free student version, and Blender’s totally free, even though it’s an industry worthy tool.”



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July 2020