PRAC­TICE MAKES… AWE­SOME!

JC ex­plains how a lunchtime sketch grew into an epic piece of con­cept art…

ImagineFX - - Interview Jc Park -

MacBook on the din­ing table in the liv­ing room of his house, which he shares with his wife and chil­dren. “I pre­fer a lap­top to a desk­top,” he says, “be­cause I like to be able to move my workspace eas­ily. It means I can take it with me when I need to go on trips. Some­times I work in a nearby café. That’s re­ally good for a diversion.”

In May 2016, JC moved to Ham­burg, Ger­many, where he now works for online games com­pany Goodgame Stu­dios. He also works as a free­lancer, not just on games, but also cre­at­ing art for ev­ery­thing from an­i­ma­tions and fea­ture films, to cover art and TV com­mer­cials.

Dur­ing the early stages of a project, speed is key. JC car­ries a pen­cil and sketch pad with him, so he can quickly get down any ideas he has while on the move. If he’s work­ing on a par­tic­u­larly de­tailed con­cept or il­lus­tra­tion, he might be­gin a project with a paper sketch, but usu­ally he draws di­rectly onto his tablet in Pho­to­shop. It means he can eas­ily mod­ify, ro­tate and layer im­ages. He uses a large brush and a mono colour – grey or dark brown. At this stage, he’s con­cen­trat­ing on the over­all com­po­si­tion as he adds sim­ple colours. Next, he gives the im­ages depth and light­ing, then starts to work in more de­tail.

“If some­thing isn’t work­ing within a project,” JC says, “then I take a breather for a few min­utes – go out for a walk, or search the in­ter­net – then I go back to the im­age with an idea of how to fix it.”

Im­pres­sive sto­ry­telling

JC uses Pin­ter­est to gather ref­er­ences. Some­times, he’ll take a col­lec­tion of im­ages and com­bine them into a sin­gle, new im­age. Oc­ca­sion­ally, if he re­ally likes a pic­ture, he’ll re­com­pose it.

“I could be watch­ing a film or TV pro­gramme when in­spi­ra­tion hits,” he says. “I try to re­mem­ber what it was that fired me up. Some­times the im­age

So many tal­ented artists are mak­ing lots of great con­cept art ev­ery day, and so much of it is lost or for­got­ten

is so clear it comes quickly, but it’s not al­ways easy to main­tain that pos­i­tive feel­ing right up un­til the work’s done. So I try to fin­ish a piece very quickly, usu­ally within three to four hours.”

JC is cur­rently cre­at­ing con­cepts for a mo­bile role-play­ing game, and is hop­ing to work on a AAA console game in the near fu­ture. His dream job? The next Star Wars film. His style and his metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail seems a good fit for the fran­chise.

The artist says that his style has changed in re­cent years, but un­der­pin­ning ev­ery­thing he does is the de­sire to tell a good story, to make sure ev­ery­thing fits to­gether prop­erly, and to create some­thing that’s beau­ti­fully en­gi­neered.

“I’m fo­cus­ing on more re­al­is­tic con­cepts built around good sto­ry­telling,” he says, “so ev­ery day I try to be more cre­ative with that aim in mind. I want to create con­cept art that en­dures – for the au­di­ence and for me, too. So many tal­ented artists are mak­ing lots of great con­cept art ev­ery day – ba­si­cally ev­ery mo­ment – and so much of it is lost or for­got­ten. When I re­flect on my ex­pe­ri­ences of the art, it’s some­thing that has strong sto­ry­telling at the heart of it.”

“Then I looked at the po­si­tion of the fig­ures. The viewer should no­tice the visual flow: how it moves from in front of the char­ac­ters to the huge beast and the back­ground.“ … to an epic fin­ish

“I drew this dur­ing one lunch break. I did it to prac­tise scale, dis­tance and de­vel­op­ing a strong sil­hou­ette, and I drew it pretty quickly. I wanted to do some­thing sim­ple – it was just a bit of fun.” “I added the sky and de­sat­u­rated the colour. Then I be­gan to work on each of the char­ac­ters, al­most as if they were sep­a­rate im­ages, and then de­cided who would be the fo­cus of the im­age.” start­ing out with the com­po­si­tion ba­sics… … be­fore work­ing up el­e­ments in the paint­ing…

the star wars “Some­times I draw fan art while mix­ing in my own de­sign ideas. Some­one once asked me, ‘Who’s the guy at the front?’ Well, he’s just my char­ac­ter!”

“This was done dur­ing a busy pe­riod of work – I treated it as a bit of re­lax­ing down-time. I sim­ply let my hand take the im­age for­ward.” Fol­low­ing my hand

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