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5 Best Video Game Artists in 2022

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Best video game artists in 2022

It goes without saying that art direction is one of the most crucial factors when developing a video game. Concept artists must envision and realize the game’s atmosphere even before devs can begin coding. As a result, a game’s art style has an impact on just about everything from the story, the characters, and the environment, to the entirety of its atmosphere. Even the tiniest details on clothing, weaponry, and the places players will explore must be considered. It’s clearly not an easy job, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top five video game artists in 2022.

These artists stand out for the incredible foundation they’ve laid for video games. They’ve worked closely with developers and producers to bring their ideas to life in a beautiful fashion and onto our screens. The only unfortunate part is that video game artists are often overlooked and don’t receive the credit they deserve for imagining some of our favorite game worlds. Well, that changes today as we look to recognize five of the best video game artists in 2022.

 

5. Erik Van Helvoirt

Best video game artist in 2022

Credit: Erik Van Helvoirt

One game that has thrived off its cinematic visuals is the Horizon series. We first saw it in Horizon Zero Dawn, with the art style practically bringing the game to life. Then someway somehow, Guerilla Games was able to take it up a notch in Horizon Forbidden West. Front to back the game was a visually stunning masterpiece that made us want to explore each nook and cranny of its environment. Plus, we can’t overlook the beautiful scenic moments that constantly surprise us throughout the game and are just dying for you to make it your wallpaper.

Yes, the Horizon series is famed for its amazing art style, and Forbidden West might very well be the most visually striking game of 2022. That’s why we need to respectfully honor Erik Van Helvoirt, who’s been at Guerilla Games since 2011 and is now the Senior Concept Artist. You can thank him for many of the amazing moments you experienced in both Horizon games. However, his dedication to Forbidden West, easily one of the most visually stunning games this year, undoubtedly places him among the best videogame artists in 2022.

 

 

4. Sophie Gagnon

Credit: Sophie Gagnon

Okay, we’ll admit it, EA has a pretty choppy time with its game releases. They are typically a hit or miss with gameplay, and the in-game transactions are getting peskier with each game. However, aside from that one thing, we can agree on is that EA games are typically stunning with their visual art. Think Battlefield V, It Takes Two, Lost in Random, The Mass Effect Trilogy, and well, the list goes on and on. Sophie Gagnon, who has been the art director for EA since 2003, deserves a lot of the credit.

She specializes in environmental construction and lighting, with specific work on EA Sports games, but she’s capable of doing just about everything. From characters, animations, effects, graphic design, and practically everything in art direction. Gagnon is a veteran in video game art direction, with years of expertise. She deserves to be recognized for her continuously gorgeous work in the games we’ve played over the years and ones that we’ll play in the future, like F1 22.

 

 

3. Emil Pagliarulo

Credit: Emil Pagliarulo

One genre of games that requires a heavy emphasis on art style is RPGs. Because they’re role-playing first, artists have to imagine a whole world solely to suit the role-playing premise. It’s no simple undertaking, but Bethesda is one studio whose art direction in RPG games has received a lot of praise. Emil Pagliarulo, Bethesda’s principal game designer, has been at the forefront of that endeavor for many years. Whose helped with the art style for games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the Fallout series in the past.

Now Emil Pagliarulo is taking on arguably his biggest task as a design director for Starfield. He has a direct hand in almost every aspect of the game’s art direction, collaborating closely with designers and artists to help them realize the game’s star systems, worlds, and environments within them. Regardless of the outcome, Pagliarulo and his entire design team deserve credit for the unimaginable hours they’re putting into Bethesda’s biggest RPG.

 

 

2. Nozomi Shiba

Best video game artists in 2022

*Image not directly credited to Nozomi Shiba* (Artist illustrations could not be found)

The front runner for the game of the year right now looks to be Elden Ring, and that’s for a multitude of reasons. However, one aspect of the game we can’t just stop staring at and exploring is its environment. Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin collaborated to envision the fantasy world, but it wasn’t just their minds that brought it to life – it was also the hands of Nozomi Shiba, the lead Environment artist, and his extensive team.

Almost every groundbreaking idea the two great minds had rested on the ability of Nozomi Shiba and his team. And we think it’s safe to assume they didn’t do a good job, but a great one. Every inch of the world felt like it held mystery and the atmosphere was captured to a tee. But that’s because it wasn’t his first stab.

Nozomi Shiba has helped work on the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and Demon’s Souls. However, his outstandingly impressive work in Elden Ring easily grants him one of the best video game artists in 2022.

 

 

1. John Sweeney

Best video game artists in 2022

Credit: John Sweeney

One of the most popular video game artists, that you may have heard of is John Sweeney. That’s because he worked with Naughty Dog as a concept artist for roughly the last decade, helping with the art on some of their most notable games. Like The Last of Us and Uncharted series. Both are beautiful action-adventure franchises that are brought to life just by their art style alone. Not to mention the numerous awards The Last of Us won for its art direction.

Well, John Sweeny had direct involvement in conceptualizing the artistic framework for both these games. He unquestionably deserves credit for both, but the flawless execution we’ve seen from The Last of Us series is simply unmatched. It’s a pure showcase of video game artists at their best. Now that John Sweeney is working on personal and freelance projects, it will be interesting to see where else he may offer his talents as one of the best video game artists in 2022.

 

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other games video game artists in 2022 that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!