All sketches © Steve Chinhsuan Wang
Concept artist Steve Chinhsuan Wang discusses his career in this sneak peek from issue 135!
Although he readily admits to having been fortunate in his career, meeting the right people at the right time, Steve Chinhsuan Wang’s career path hasn’t always been easy. He struggled to develop his painting work, been disappointed by big projects that were cancelled, and experienced visa difficulties because he hadn’t completed his degree. However, by perusing other means of learning, and finding mentors to guide his work Steve has been able to develop an enviable portfolio.
A freelance artist for films and videogames, Steve is now putting an emphasis on creating more personal works to maintain the passion he feels for creating art. He talks to us about continuing to learn new skills and techniques, when he’s most creative, and how he finds purpose in every image…
Hi Steve, thank you for talking to 2dartist! Can you kick things off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Hi! I’m a concept artist and designer currently living in Vancouver, I’m known by some as “Swang.” Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to meet all the right people at the right time who have propelled me forward, but it definitely hasn’t been a smooth ride.
Initially, I studied Product Design at the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design right after high school. Eventually, I dropped out to pursue Entertainment Design at FZD School of Design. I’ve always felt more comfortable doing hard-surface designs due to my background in drawing products, but nowadays I tackle all the subject matters out there.
Your works feature a lot of moody, atmospheric lighting; how do you accomplish this look?
If that look is what I’m going for, then I will try to study references that present the lighting condition. First I try to study from real life or photographs, then a few artworks that are close to what I have in my head.
In my honest opinion, moody and atmospheric scenes are one of the easiest ones to establish. It gives the artist a lot of room to make mistakes, and make up shapes. Overall, it’s more forgiving while giving you a “wow” effect. I recommend checking out some of James Paick’s fundamental tutorials; he offers an effective and simple process for this type of environment painting.
What made you want to pursue a career in the industry?
I’ve always been drawing, so being an artist wasn’t a big surprise. The pivotal moment was probably discovering Feng Zhu’s Design Cinema. Back then I was struggling with digital painting and spent many sleepless nights going through tutorials. Feng’s videos kept on popping up and I knew I wanted to do what he did for a living. I dropped out of college to pursue this career soon after.
In hindsight, so many things could have been wrong and I’m very grateful that it turned out pretty well. With education though, the more you put in, the more you get out. Even after I landed my first job, I kept up with my practices after work so that the job can actually turn into a career.
Read the rest of Steve’s interview in issue 135!