Action Concepts of Johnson Ting
Persons
Johnson Ting

Concept Artist

Events
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Busan KR   15, Nov — 19, Nov
Minsk BY   16, Nov — 19, Nov
Utrecht NL   24, Nov — 26, Nov
Philadelphia US   30, Nov — 3, Dec
London GB   30, Nov — 1, Dec
Latest comments

Thanks, Allar! Good luck with your new project!

Who just carries around $250.000 worth of files on a portable hardrive without any backups.. The bug is stupid, but this guy is a moron.

by Michael Allar
14 hours ago

Michael Allar here. Thanks a bunch for posting this, I really appreciate it. I'm also the guy who wrote that Confessions article that was posted here on 80.lvl as well.

Action Concepts of Johnson Ting
4 August, 2016
Interview

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. 

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Introduction

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!

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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.  

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Military Designs

Danny Luvisi is definitely the man that helped inspire and kickstart my career in art, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be as motivated, that guy is just so great and such a really nice guy. I have a never-ending list of artists that inspire me everyday such as Aaron Beck, Vitaly Bulgarov, Yoji Shinkawa, Trevor Claxton, Adrian Majkrzak, Syd Mead, Daniel Simon, Andree Wallin and many many more! I also have a very big passion for Japanese culture, anime and manga, my biggest inspirations are definitely Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor, they are pretty much the inspiration behind the whole idea of Neo Japan 2202, and I absolutely love Gundam and Evangelion to the moon and back, the designs are just so timeless and so successful. 
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MEDEVAC crew trains for emergency response

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Art’s Composition

I usually work and experiment along the way, I don’t always have a solid idea of what I want in my head, most of the time is just jumping in and trying to piece things together and slowly get the whole picture, I really enjoy this process of finding the right feeling, and once I got it I usually just enjoy the rest of the process through. So for me, I’m definitely the type that keeps on changing decisions and making various design choices during the process of creating an artwork, if you’ve seen my videos you would realize that I always do that, change the design or go back to delete the whole thing and repaint it.  

You’ve presented amazing female images. Could you talk about these works? How do you make one coquettish or sad? 

I’m guessing you’re referring to my artworks for our artbook “Milky Overdrive”, well me and my friends released an artbook about girls and machines last year for fun, the original plan was to come up with a wacky cliche theme and compile the works into an artbook, I don’t paint a lot of girls so I thought it would be a great chance to paint and practice! So honestly, I pretty much just hit bumps after bumps during the painting process, I’ve downloaded at least a thousand images just for referencing alone! I sketch and tryout different proportions before I settle down on a final look, a lot of trials and errors involved but that’s the fun! So, yeah, references, tons and tons of them.

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Color

I’m sorry I don’t have much to provide because honestly I have no secret magic or tips on painting these artworks, I guess i’m a pretty boring person. I take a lot of time in trying out different colors in one painting, often changing the hue/saturation to find the right color from time to time, sometimes even almost at the end of the painting I would decide to change the color of the whole thing and start again. For me, I’m always looking for colors, always tweaking and changing to get the “Ahh! this actually looks ok” moments, I just want to harmonize the colors in my paintings and want them to go easy on the eyes, so nothing too crazy or sharp unless I specifically want them to be so (like the paintings in Milky Overdrive). 
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Neo Japan 2202 – Borei

Well it initially just started as a class demo for my students, I was just fooling around with sketching some sci-fi characters, the idea behind was that I wanted to design a soldier that has been bought back to service through technology and modifications, it took a lot of brainstorming and I remembered one of the films I watched, “Source code” with this scene where it shows the main character’s body modified and kept alive in a container, to use him to track down the events leading to the disaster. So after settling down on the idea i just dive in and start sketching various characters related to the idea, thick, thin, big or small, anything, just crazy doodles! Honestly not much references because it was a demo and I pretty much have to speed things up and just make up stuffs along the way.

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Beginner’s Guide

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.

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8

 

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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. 

Caption: Pictured is Seaman Clearance Diver Todd Adamson (foreground) from Australian Clearance Diving Team - Four based at HMAS Stirling, conducting a clandestine beach clearance with Able Seaman Clearance Diver Gordon Mathoi.  Seaman Todd Adamson and Able Seaman Gordon Mathoi are both wearing Drager Lar VI oxygen rebreathers and are holding M4 automatic assault rifles. Mid Caption: The Commander Australian fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates, AM RAN, hosted a launch event for a new television documentary series showcasing the Navy’s Clearance Divers. The series gives viewers a rare insight into the gruelling selection course that the trainees must survive in order to join the ranks of one of the Navy’s most elite and mysterious units. "Navy Divers" is a documentary series which follows the story of a group of young trainees as they face the physical and mental challenges of selection to become on the Navy’s elite Clearance Divers.

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Johnson Ting, Concept Artist

Interview conducted by Artyom Sergeev

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