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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
We were lucky enough to talk to a talented Johnson Ting, who has worked on concept art for companies like Square Enix, Activision, Infinity Ward, BossKey, Neatherrealm studios, Warner Brothers (Game) and Applibot. In this interview he talked about his technique and shared some of his trade secrets.
Hey there! I come from a small little city on the east side of Malaysia, I’m pretty sure we all have the same childhood stories like doodling on walls, textbooks and such, so I am definitely the same! I have a very big love for games and have been playing them since my dad got us a computer back in 1995, Starcraft and Halo are my favorites among the many others, these are the games that made me decided to grow up and do something related with games at a very young age. Growing up in a more rural side of Malaysia, art is often considered an useless carrier and there are many many limitations, literally no one supports doing art at the time, it took me a great amount of consideration along with support from my parents to enroll in an artschool thousands of miles away from my hometown. I studied in The One Academy in the capital of Malaysia, for three years while working part time to earn some money to pay for the fees, I’m currently guest lecturing at the college too!
Throughout the years in the industry I have been working on a couple of interesting aspects of a AAA game, from providing idea concept sketches to designing statues for them, many interesting projects! I’m currently working for Project Triforce in New York, we specialize in merchandising for games and currently doing a lot of pre-production art for games as well, for instance I have been working on Gears of War 4 for the past 2 years and did a lot of concept art jobs for them, then I got to be involved in designing the game’s collector’s edition, which is pretty crazy because I got involved in both the pre-production and post-production part of the game! Another game which I enjoyed working on was Mortal Kombat X, I got the privilege of designing Jax, which is one of my favorite character when I first played Mortal Kombat (4) back in the late 90s, the feeling of nostalgia kept hitting me during the design process, it just brings back so many memories and I couldn’t be more grateful to design him. I’ve also gotten involved in designing the latest Doom‘s and Battlefield 1‘s collector’s edition. I’ve worked with companies such as Square Enix, Activision, Infinity Ward, BossKey, Neatherrealm studios, Warner Brothers (Game), Applibot, etc, mostly on the concept art side.
You’ve presented amazing female images. Could you talk about these works? How do you make one coquettish or sad?
Neo Japan 2202 – Borei
In my country, a lot of people tend to give up on taking art as a career due to the limitations and stereotypes, especially in Asia where there are still a lot of people that will discourage you to give up and choose a better career such as doctor, lawyer or engineer to earn more money. Don’t give up and there is absolutely no need to change your dream just because someone said so, I’ve seen so many good artists gave up and changed their careers, which is super duper sad. It’s a rough road but it’s definitely a road worth going through for, you will meet a lot of obstacles along the way but that is how we grow and how we get better, the main thing is to never give up and charge through, keep on drawing! I’ve gone through many many worst moments of my life while pursuing my love for art, and I’m grateful that I have gone through them, no regrets.
Another thing is that there is absolutely no shortcuts in art, no point in looking for shortcuts in painting, or rely on tricks to make a pretty image just to get attention and feel good, there’s no reason in doing all these! You can lie to yourself all you want but you’re not getting better if you’re relying on shortcuts, while you’re looking for shortcuts, the other guy who has been painting day and night nonstop is just gonna be ahead of you even more, miles ahead. You would absolutely need a solid foundation before anything else (photobashing especially), for example if you want to design a believable humanoid robot you would have to understand the fundamentals of human anatomy, industrial/production design such as how joints works or some simple physics, news on technology advancements and many more. Every successful design has tons of knowledge, trials and errors behind them, even if this guy seemingly sketched out an awesome looking robot within 5 mins, you would also have to realize that to do that in 5 mins probably took 5 years of work to perfect it.