Tan Hui Tian

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Collateral Damage Studio - Tan Hui Tian is a se­nior il­lus­tra­tor at CDS and an ex­pe­ri­enced game artist who has pre­vi­ously worked for an in­die game de­vel­oper. www.tan­huitian.de­viantart.com

The se­nior il­lus­tra­tor on the in­dus­try and suc­cess

Hello Tan. What did you do be­fore com­ing to CDS?

I was a game artist at PD De­sign, and my port­fo­lio con­sisted of char­ac­ter de­sign, GUI and some en­vi­ron­ment art.

What’s been the high­light of your time at CDS so far?

Be­ing able to set the art di­rec­tion and helm projects from start to fin­ish, such as the board game Aether Cap­tains, has been ex­cit­ing. I also re­ally like work­ing with clients such as GoBoiano [the global net­work for an­ime fans and cre­ators]. They are open to wilder stuff and tend to set clear art di­rec­tions as well.

Out­side of your day job, what kind of art do you tend to en­joy pro­duc­ing the most?

Cur­rently I’m ob­sessed with cre­at­ing frac­tal art us­ing Man­del­bulb 3D, and learn­ing 3D to sup­ple­ment my 2D art process. I also have a predilec­tion for world-build­ing though, and I still tend to be more mo­ti­vated by that.

It’s a time of great change in the in­dus­try. But where, in your view, is it head­ing?

I think the in­dus­try has re­ally ex­panded in the past few decades. Pop cul­ture and even cer­tain sub­cul­tures have be­come main­stream, and nowa­days there’s al­ways a mo­bile games com­pany look­ing for artists and so forth. There’s even the op­tion of crowd­fund­ing now, too, by way of Kick­starter, Pa­treon and such­like. It’s an ex­cit­ing time. Some sec­tors of the in­dus­try may be stag­nat­ing (tra­di­tional trad­ing card games, for in­stance), but there are en­tirely new sec­tors which seem to be flour­ish­ing as well. I don’t think it’s nec­es­sar­ily eas­ier in this dig­i­tal age though. Be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion is re­ally high th­ese days as well, with glob­al­i­sa­tion and the avail­abil­ity of ed­u­ca­tional re­sources.

Lastly, what ad­vice would you have for some­one want­ing to be a con­cept artist right now?

I would tell aspir­ing dig­i­tal artists not to go to art school un­less they’re cer­tain it’s go­ing to pay off for them. None of your prospec­tive em­ploy­ers would ask to see your qual­i­fi­ca­tions, and a lot of ed­u­ca­tional re­sources can be found else­where. Also, hang out with pro­fes­sion­als who can of­fer prac­ti­cal ad­vice. And most im­por­tantly, draw what you like and have fun draw­ing. Life is sim­ply too short to be some­one else.

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