June 3 – October 7

Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

120 Richards Hall
Lincoln, NE

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Concept Painting for Toon Town at Night, c.1986 by Ron Diaz, gouache on board


Iconic settings and characters originate as the dream of concept artists: Simba (The Lion King) first held at Pride Rock, the Iron Giant (The Iron Giant) endlessly spinning young Hogarth in his red car, and the Rebel Alliance pilots fighting the Empire (Star Wars). A concept artist envisions these scenes before they become collective memories in the public consciousness.

Concept artists are among the first to shape the style of a film, testing ambitious ideas and exploring dierent possibilities. A concept artist creates multiple variations of a character design before a final decision is made with other team members, especially the director.

Studios may pursue a project based only on concept art, such as the art by Ralph McQuarrie for Star Wars. This world building guides other professionals in their creative work. As an ongoing and iterative artistic form, strong concept art can be relevant for years and serve as future source material.

As one of the most unrestricted art forms in filmmaking, concept art shows the genius that foreshadows what is seen by audiences.