Ignatius Tan is an Illustration Art Lead on Legends of Runeterra at Riot Games in Hong Kong. He grew up in Singapore, and as a kid, found influences in Studio Ghibli, old-school anime, and western animations like He-Man, X-Men and the ninja turtles. The signature style of Ghibli is most noticeable when you scroll through his portfolio where artworks and sketches celebrating Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away catch your attention almost immediately. It’s fun to see how the spirit of Miyazaki’s animated films lives on, shining through in the art of a whole generation of illustrators like the one we’ve interviewed here.
Some of you may remember our 2016 interview with Even Mehl Amundsen, and we hope that you’re as excited to catch up with him as we are! For those of you who don’t know, Even is a Norwegian concept artist who specializes in fantasy art. In the past, he has lived in Canada, Czech republic, Norway and the UK, and he has had the opportunity to work for companies like Blizzard Entertainment and VOLTA as he made his way around the world. Now you can find him back Norway, or more specifically, Oslo, where he is working on TEGN. This is Even’s art-book series, a project he started when he challenged himself to draw three hundred and sixty-six unique, story-laced illustrations over the course of one year.
Becoming a successful concept artist in this day and age is tough. You have to spend countless hours creating portfolio artwork whilst growing your social media presence in order to build your professional network. And like most of our dreams, it will seem impossible at first. This is why we interviewed James Combridge, an Australian Concept Artist from Newcastle. James loves creating worlds, telling stories and constantly improving his artwork. We asked him a few questions we thought a beginner artist might want answers to.
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.
Efflam Mercier is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brest, France, currently working on concept art for film at MPC, as well as doing freelance work on Magic: The Gathering. He specializes in lighting and visual storytelling, using painting, photography and CGI to create stunning artwork. This artist is renowned for his keenness to help other artists better themselves and it’s likely, that some of you know him quite well. Today, he’s here to talk to us about the importance of having original ideas when creating concept art.
What is attractive and accessible to the public eye will be a society’s natural inclination, so I’m certain strong influence from media is still as present as ever. The most important thing an artist can do about this is question where ideas came from and where they’re going. Syd Mead, for example, creates timeless futurist concepts that affect how most artists today romanticize the future.
Crystal Kung started to draw when she was a child. She was born in Xi’an, China, but was raised in Taipei, Taiwan, where she moved at the age of five. As a young girl, Crystal enjoyed reading art books. During the high school years, drawing became more important to her, and she focused on illustration. After all, high school was the place where she picked the college major. Just like so many of us surrounded by not overwhelmingly appealing urban landscape, she was realizing that more art could help to improve aesthetics, what was making her even more determined.
Stavros Damos was born in Thessaloniki, where he studied graphic design at the AAS College of Art & Design. Stavros specializes in illustration, and has been developing a recognizable style since he was in high school. His clients are primarily advertising agencies, publishing houses and magazines. In his spare time, he continues to find new ways of working which helps him to further distinguish from the crowd. His love for the arts is what gives him the strength and fuels the optimism that he holds for the future.