Darren Bartley is a concept artist based in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. He has over a decade of experience in the video game industry and is currently the Senior Concept Designer at Riot Games. He has previously worked on titles including Crysis 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Stellar Dawn and Runescape.
Bartley studied art in high school, as well as a year in a local art college. In university, he studied computer game design. Regrettably, Bartley found this traditional tutelage short-sighted and dull. He knew what he wanted, that was to work in video games, but even with the years of education behind him, he did not know how to do it. Then one day, while flicking through the pages of Edge magazine, he stumbled across the work of industry veteran, Feng Zhu.
He had finally found a light to guide his way. Bartley engulfed himself in tutorials, in particular, the early Gnomon DVDs. Working tirelessly to understand the craft of concept design.
His hard work eventually landed him his first job at the UK independent developer, Jagex. Now being able to learn from others artist around him, he practiced his the craft. He worked for five years on a sci-fi MMO project, only for it to be cancelled. But for Bartley, those years were invaluable. Since then, he has worked for top game companies Crytek and Ubisoft. He has also worked freelance.
Bartley’s portfolio is a mix of 2D and 3D. Much of his concepts are 2D, however, he sometimes renders on top of 3D models, as well as the occasional photobashing. His very stylish illustrations are immediately striking. His designs are well-balanced and make strong use of contrast. He robots and machines incorporate both organic and urban elements giving them a very individual quality.