Listening to: Tron Legacy - Daft Punk
Reading: Prometheus, the art of the film
Watching: Lie to me - Season 1
Concept Artists are usually used at the beginning of a project, a movie or a video game for instance.
They are skilled at inventing characters, props, environments (exterior and interior), weapons, vehicles etc.
They are briefed first, and then (depending on the project budget) are expected to sketch/paint a number of rough idea's for the required design.
Once an idea has been chosen (by whoever is in charge of the art design) the artist will be expected to develop the idea into something less rough but with more detail.
Once the person in charge is happy, the design is then given to another artist such as a 3D modeler, a costume designer, a matte painter etc who will then 'build' the design to be used in a movie or video game.
Concept art is not important to the average consumer. Concept art is generally 'disposable' art. Usually it is only specialist artists who purchase concept art books that contain the art from a particular movie or game.
The Concept artist will most likely see his/her original concept become developed further as many other artists/crew/directors tweak and adjust the original design throughout the creation of the movie or game over 2 or 3 years.
Illustrators usually pop up towards the end of a project. Their job is not to design but to create fantastic images based on references i.e. photographs from a completed film or screenshots from a game.
The illustrator will need to arrange the references into an exciting image and draw/paint the image in a highly appealing way. They often do 'paint-overs' or tracings.
These images will be used for all kinds of promotion i.e. posters, website banners, on billboards, book/DVD/CD covers etc.
The public will be heavily exposed to these images.
Usually the images will stay as they are - what the artist creates is exactly what the public will see.
Real concept art is not seen commonly throughout online digital galleries because the images are not 'pretty' and 'completed' enough to gain interest by the viewing public. Hense there is almost no concept art in the DA groups because it isn't deemed appealing.
Illustrations however are much more appealing to the masses and appear much more frequently.