Portrait Martin Elsaesser, Art Director, Lead Artist, Video Games


I am an Art Director, Lead Artist and games industry expert from Germany. 

With more than 20 years of experience, I worked on games such as: 

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Crysis 2 & Crysis 3

I live and work in Frankfurt, Germany.

Art Direction

my job as an Art Director is to establish, maintain and supervise the artistic vision of a game.


I also provide guidance on all aspects of the art production process.


To communicate art I use: 


reference collections, sketches, overpaints, concept art, key visuals, blockouts, visual prototyping, style guides, art reviews, stand-ups, presentations and more...


Every team member needs a different piece of information and it is my job to provide what everyone needs to know.


This form of direction in combination with my approach to leadership ensures that every artist feels trusted, informed and motivated. 


Only with this motivation will an art team be able to produce outstanding visuals...


Art Leadership

my take on art leadership is based on a set of simple yet powerful principles:

  • Establish an atmosphere of trust and respect
  • Treat everyone as an individual 
  • Put people first over process
  • Listen and pay attention
  • Support peoples goals & careers
  • Be open and transparent
  • Give feedback instead of orders
  • Foster a give and take approach where people help each other
  • Bring people together
  • Be trustworthy and reliable
  • Be smart and get things done

My goal is to enable art teams to self-organise in a direct, lean and efficient way.


For this it is necessary to bring agile development methods, artistic freedom and creativity in balance with pipeline and scheduling needs.



over the years I became an expert in art outsourcing as I took part in numerous outsourcing endeavours.


From vendor selection, to onsite training, from contract negotiation to work order setup, from initial brief to final asset implementation including all delivery steps and art approvals on the way....


I have worked with large scale service providers in China and India, but also with smaller vendors of all sizes and some of the most talented freelancers out there. 


It is always amazing to see an outsourcing pipeline shift gears into speed, ones all the obstacles are cleared.


To work with artists from around the world is always a joyful yet challenging adventure. 

Feel free to join my network of industry professionals...


Connect on LinkedIn / ArtStation



I speak English (fluent), German (native) and Spanish (beginner/A1)