I was born in Shanghai China. I go back once every year around Xmas time to enjoy the food, the cold temperature and beautiful foggy scenery. The rest of the time I stay in Auckland New Zealand working as a CG artist and illustrator.
When I was little I enjoyed doing all kinds of things like running around naked,playing action-packed theater with my figure toys while mumbling unscripted dialogues, breaking family properties and drawing characters from my favorite picture books. When I was sitting bored in the classroom I would draw portraits of teachers in class on my textbook. I even got commissioned by fellow classmates to do popular cartoon characters like Aotoman on their textbooks. In return they would give me some snacks or invited me to play Contra at their place when their parents were not around. This was my earliest life as a commercially successful illustrator.
Although what I really wanted to be back then is a fine art artist since I read ”Lust for life” by Irving Stone. This is a fictionalized biography of the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. I was deeply moved by the passion and dedication that a true artist can possess. I didn’t want to cut my ear off for my art but I always wanted to put lively strokes onto my canvas like Van Gogh did to his trees and sky.
On the other hand I was really interested in visual narratives as well. My Dad used to do a lot of TV commercials back then and he always held production meetings with fellow producer at home. They sat down talking about script and drew storyboards. I always wondered around with great curiosity and took sneaky peak at what they were doing. Once I caught a moment when they were both absent with their storyboard left behind. Such a precious opportunity just shouldn’t go wasted so I filled in all the blanks with my doodle figures which looked like toilet symbols in motion. I still remember this was a commercial for a washing machine brand and this was my first experience been involved in a serious production. My dad was greatly amused and sent me to study fine art properly eventually.
Some time passed and I was not satisfied by only doing paintings that don’t move. I got interested in making movies and animations. I went to study graphic design and 3D animation so I can pursuit a career towards that. I have been working in the animation and game industry for quite some time now and still enjoy every aspect of this creative industry. I have been doing all kinds of things from concept design to 3D production. In my spare time I do commissioned illustration works for various publishers as well as working on my original stories. And not so long ago I just finished making a fully 2D animated music video with my friend who directed it . I enjoyed working on it so much as I learned heaps along the way and we were both so proud of the outcome. I still feel like a newbie to this industry because there is always so much to learn especially if you want to do your own production one day.
I still don’t think I have a very personal style yet. Maybe I do but it’s only temporary as I am always trying to get out of my comfort zone and explore more into my unfamiliar areas. However I always want to do things a little more realistically. That means I tend to enjoy drawing normal people walking around and going through their daily routines. I like observing what they do,what they wear, what they say and how they are connected to other people around them. For example I enjoy observing and drawing neighborhood people gathering around in a hot summer night eating simple homemade dinner in their singlets and talking about their day time work. To me this is true life with real emotions that all fantasy should be based upon. It can be simple but full of stories to tell.
I don’t want to put a label like CG artist or book illustrator on myself just yet because there is still so much virgin territory that I haven’t stepped into. However no matter what medium I use, I know ultimately I want to be a story teller who can make people stop whatever they are doing and think for a while.