Wendy Tan Shiau Wei is a twenty-two year old freelancer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She focuses on illustration and storyboarding in her artwork, but she also has a strong background in multimedia design. The illustrations she makes are quite telling, and each and every one of them is overflowing with sincerity and a genuine love for art. Wendy’s personal style is cartoony and light-hearted in its own unique way. It’s important to note that the style is very different to what we usually see because there’s a bit of a clash between the two influences—East Asian and Western art—both of which subtly shine through her many canvases.
I love painting portraits more than anything else, mainly because of their ability to tell you more about a person. One of the things I like to include is photo-references, and I have a tendency to use these a lot. Popular opinion — or the loudest one anyway — holds that using photographs in a painting is cheating. Moreover, copying is another things that this community frowns upon, but you actually learn a great deal from copying. To tell you the truth, it may well be the fastest way to improve as an artist. My recommendation is to study old master paintings. You will need to be very observant in order to learn how they did it, but you can apply everything you learn here in the future. On a side note, the 10,000 hour rule is not going to apply if you are practicing wrong.
The Malaysian art scene often goes unnoticed in the art community. After all, there’s only a handful of names that we all know and love. Incidentally, we have interviewed Puppeteer Lee in the past, but we didn’t get a chance to ask him what it’s like to be an artist in his home country. This is why we interviewed Kael Ngu, a Concept Artist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “I feel that there will be many more young aspiring artists coming out of Malaysia in due time, and the culture will get stronger as time goes by.” said Kael. The artists all know each other, and they collaborate on various art-books, two of which have already been published. Of course, their day-to-day tasks at work keep them busy, but you can look forward to more collaborative projects by Kael and the others in the near future.
Stella Chen Yui is an illustrator from Taiwan, currently living in Taichung and using the pen name of Stellarism. She is completely self-taught and is majoring in Japanese language this year. Of course, you may have already seen Stella’s artworks around if you are a fan of anime and manga since she’s one of the more popular artists in that Internet community. However, she also does her best to try her hand at different projects. We asked her about the work she did for Marco Kalantari’s short film toward the second half of the interview, and she told us a little bit about how different it was to working for Taiwanese clients. Of course, we also talked about her journey so far and her plans for the future.
Even Mehl Amundsen is a far–traveled fantasy artist from Stabekk, Norway. Currently, he is living in Denmark. He has worked for Blizzard Entertainment, Games Workshop and other reputable companies in the past. This artist’s career started in Quebec, Canada, where he worked for VOLTA, a studio that is well known in the entertainment industry. This is where Even spent three years learning the ropes of his new job with the help of a great many artists who he looked up to at the time. Working in-house at a studio is a big step-up for any artist and it definitely helped Even kick-start his career as an artist and propelled him to where he is today.
Pavel Sokov is a freelance artist who was self-taught up until he was twenty-four – at that point, he quit his secure job in marketing, instead choosing to move to California to attend the Watts Atelier of the Arts. Within less than a year, he was commissioned to work on a portrait of Vladimir Putin for Time Person of the Year issue. As of the beginning of this year, he’s working on commissioned portraits of Saudi Arabian royalty which are to hang in the government offices.