Dig­i­tal artist Ko Kyaw

The fa­mous il­lus­tra­tor will de­sign the sto­ry­board of a movie on Gen­eral Aung San. LAE PHYU PYA MYO MYINT

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Weekend | Art -

5-year-old artist Ko Kyaw wears black shirt and blue jeans. He is calm, al­ways. His char­ac­ters, on the other hand, are mer­cu­rial and ag­gres­sive. An il­lus­tra­tor, Ko Kyaw has de­signed sketch for comics, car­toons, com­mer­cials and tele­vi­sion. His tool of choice is tablets, com­put­ers, a mouse and a sty­lus. He is a dig­i­tal drawer and a pi­o­neer in the field.

His sketches and cre­ations are very pop­u­lar among the youth. So much, that movie di­rec­tor Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi en­trusted him with the sto­ry­board of “Gen­eral Aung San Bio Film”, a movie project that keeps on be­ing an­nounced but never sees the light of day. “Gen­eral Aung San is our na­tion­al­ist leader and our hero. I am de­lighted and proud. I will try my best” says Ko Kyaw. He will start work­ing on it in July this year (for real).

Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi says that it will take six months to write a script and another six to shoot the film, it will start at the beg­ging of 2019 and end later the same year, he says.

Ko Kyaw is the only one up for the job, “Myan­mar has not many sto­ry­board artists. sto­ry­board charges fees are ex­pen­sive for film pro­duc­tion,” he says. A sto­ry­board is a se­ries of il­lus­tra­tions dis­played in sequence to pre-vi­su­alise a mo­tion pic­ture or an an­i­ma­tion movie. The more ef­fort is put into a well-though story, the bet­ter the vis­ual iden­tity of the movie.

‘I’ve thrown my­self in art since I was 12 re­ally’ Art runs in Ko Kyaw’s fam­ily. His fa­ther, Jit One, was also an il­lus­tra­tor. He was not very fa­mous, but he in­ter­ested his son in the art of draw­ing. He learned while re­pro­duc­ing his fa­ther’s work but also the work of the best Burmese il­lusatra­tors: Pagyi Wa Thone, Myike Win Htein, Sai Lashio.

“My fa­ther knew about my hobby. He sent me to il­lus­tra­tor Kyaw Aung Maw so I could fi­nesse my art. I’ve thrown my­self in art since I was 12 re­ally. I dropped out of school at 14. I de­cided to fo­cus on my art,” he says.

He stud­ied il­lus­tra­tion through his teenage years but in 2001 it be­came in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for an il­lus­tra­tor to make ends meet. “Book shops started to close. Peo­ple had lost in­ter­est in comics. Tech­nol­ogy took over”.

He started a se­ries of dif­fer­ent jobs. He taught paint­ing for a while. He be­came a car­toon­ist. He joined a me­dia com­pany. There, he learned how to han­dle pads and key­boards. In 2016 he es­tab­lished him­self as a dig­i­tal drawer.

He quickly rose to fame and opened Pixel brush dig­i­tal art school where he teaches draw­ing and fash­ion de­sign.

On his spare time he draws mon­sters and creatures. “I very much like cre­at­ing hor­ri­ble char­ac­ters”. Who knows? Maybe he will give Gen­eral Aung San an un­ex­pected dark twist.

Photo: Aung Khant

Artist Ko Kyaw, Yangon, 2018.

Photo: Sup­plied

An il­lus­tra­tion by Artist Ko Kyaw, Yangon, 2018.

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