Tak­ing dig­i­tal art fur­ther

An art school schol­ar­ship sets an artist on his way to a suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion ca­reer.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Art -

DIG­I­TAL an­i­ma­tor Goh Chee Seng fell in love with art when he was 11. It all be­gan when a school teacher asked if any­one wanted to par­tic­i­pate in an art com­pe­ti­tion. That was the begin­ning of his in­ter­est in art, which be­came a life pas­sion.

Goh, 34, re­calls spend­ing his younger days learn­ing to draw from friends and doo­dling, sketch­ing, draw­ing, paint­ing at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

For him, pur­su­ing art as a ca­reer be­came a nat­u­ral choice.

Later on, he dis­cov­ered the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the cre­ative in­dus­try when he signed up for an art work­shop/ talk from The One Academy, an art col­lege in Ban­dar Sun­way in Se­lan­gor.

In 2001, Goh’s life changed when he took part in a na­tion­wide art com­pe­ti­tion, or­gan­ised by The One Academy, which of­fered schol­ar­ships to its top three win­ners.

It was called the New Me­dia Award (now known as Malaysia Top 10 Out­stand­ing Young Artists Awards or MT10). The com­pe­ti­tion was held in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Walt Disney Stu­dios back then, and the com­pe­ti­tion’s theme was based on the an­i­mated film Mon­sters Inc.

Goh knew he couldn’t merely draw the film’s mon­sters, as the com­pe­ti­tion was far too great. In­stead, he drew a man try­ing to get into his mon­ster suit to scare his son, only to fail. The man’s be­wil­dered ex­pres­sion was clearly ex­pressed in Goh’s draw­ing, some­thing he spent a lot of time per­fect­ing.

That draw­ing was spe­cial enough to win over the judges. Goh was named the New Me­dia Award Gold Win­ner in 2001 and won a full schol­ar­ship worth RM50,000 from The One Academy.

With that, Goh took up a dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion course at The One Academy and he grad­u­ated af­ter three years there.

He was of­ten un­der the tute­lage of in­di­vid­u­als who had a hand in cre­at­ing, draw­ing, or di­rect­ing some of his favourite an­i­mated films. It is part of The One Academy’s “Mas­ters Train Mas­ters” coach­ing phi­los­o­phy.

“My dream to pur­sue a ca­reer in the cre­ative in­dus­try was made pos­si­ble thanks to the gold prize.

“The com­pe­ti­tion did two things for me. First, it gave me hope and the op­por­tu­nity to get an art diploma that I’ve al­ways wanted. Sec­ond, it helped the peo­ple around me change their per­cep­tion of my dream,” says Goh.

“Be­fore I won the com­pe­ti­tion, my fam­ily, rel­a­tives, and friends kept ques­tion­ing my de­ci­sion to get an art diploma, and my wish to estab­lish a ca­reer in the cre­ative in­dus­try. Af­ter I won the com­pe­ti­tion, they thought it was a mir­a­cle and re­alised that it could be pos­si­ble for me to fol­low this ca­reer path,” he ex­plains.

In 2011, Goh founded his com­pany, Il­lu­sion­ist An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio, which spe­cialises in 3D an­i­ma­tion and pro­vides 3D an­i­ma­tion con­tent (like movies and game cin­e­mat­ics) for the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

One of the no­table achieve­ments by Il­lu­sion­ist An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio was its col­lab­o­ra­tion with Square Enix, a Ja­panese video game de­vel­oper, pub­lisher, and dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany. Both com­pa­nies worked on Kings­glaive: Fi­nal Fan­tasy XV, a Ja­panese com­puter-an­i­mated sci­ence fan­tasy film, which was re­leased last year. Goh’s team cre­ated the king­dom in which the movie set is set in.

Goh aims to push fur­ther in the dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion field.

“Peo­ple see what I have achieved and they say, ‘If Chee Seng can do it, I can do it too’. I feel priv­i­leged to be the per­son who en­cour­ages them to make that first move,” he says.

Goh has come a long way since he won that MT10 com­pe­ti­tion.

Twenty years on since it was es­tab­lished, the MT10 art com­pe­ti­tion/awards cer­e­mony is still go­ing strong.

In con­junc­tion with its 20th an­niver­sary, this year’s MT10 Gold Win­ner will win a RM20,000 prize in ad­di­tion to The One Academy’s schol­ar­ship (worth RM80,000). Also, two new awards will be given out this year: The Distin­guished Art Ed­u­ca­tor Awards will be awarded to pas­sion­ate teach­ers who nur­tured the top 10 win­ners; and the Art Ed­u­ca­tor Life­time Achieve­ment Award will be awarded to an art teacher who has ded­i­cated his or her en­tire life to nurturing stu­dents who have be­come artists them­selves.

Visit top10.toa.edu.my to find out how you can par­tic­i­pate in the com­pe­ti­tion.

— Pho­tos: Handout

In 2011, Goh founded his com­pany Il­lu­sion­ist An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio, which spe­cialises in 3D an­i­ma­tion.

In 2001, Goh won a full schol­ar­ship, study­ing dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion at The One Academy.

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