Fan art created by Collin Chan
My story of inspiration doesn’t have enough space to be explained. Here's my brief story: Just like most kids; I grew up doing “art” from my kindergarten years up until high school. I never really excelled in it, but it certainly was something I enjoyed. I did not grow up around artists or have any early teachings, as my family were not artistic people.
My major turning point was having a family friend bring me to his work place, which was an animation studio. I was excited to see adults having action figures and nerf guns on their office desk. Through seeing people doing this as a living it planted a seed in my mind that I wanted to pursue a career in the arts.
Following this, I found a mentor in a close college friend of mine. He showed me how my “horrible” art could be improved by learning fundamental techniques in drawing and painting. The lessons he taught me turned into years of practice, which then turned into over ten thousand hours as I am still perfecting my practice. I wouldn’t say there was an exact moment of inspiration, but more that I fell in love with the arts the more I practiced and created.
Besides increasing my online presence and building online content, I have been working with brands outside of the digital art realm (some of them also outside North America).
One of the projects I recently completed was my commercial short film for a China based gimbal company. “Creativity Takes Time” can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/collinchan
Another exciting partnership with Wacom has recently taken place, and I am now privileged to be a Wacom sponsored artist. I am honored to be sponsored by a brand that I have personally used for over 10 years. This is definitely a childhood dream come true! Be sure to keep a close eye on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/collinchan And on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/collinchan My future projects with Wacom will be found there.
This is a tough question to answer that I will narrow down to three projects that come to mind. I just completed my first solo exhibition at the Brampton Public Library here in Ontario, Canada. This was new territory for me seeing as my work has primarily been showcased online. When posting online you tend to have a worldwide audience as opposed to a local one. It was an event I can proudly display on my resume.
Secondly, I would say being featured in the Wacom Next Level Competition. My artwork was hand picked out of thousands of submissions and displayed through a touring exhibition seen across the world. The exposure and personal affirmation left a lasting effect like no other.
Last but not least, my art was displayed during The Talking Dead show as “fan art of the week.” I am a huge fan of this series and it was an indescribable feeling seeing my digital portrait paintings on television.
I would say my days are pretty simply and laidback when it comes to preparing myself for what lies ahead. When it comes to my work routine, I do freelance work and also make time to creatively challenge myself daily. That ends up being 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day.
My background is fairly traditional where I use typical mediums to create art. Digital painting was something new to me. When I transitioned over, a few difficulties came my way as I tried to mimic traditional mediums on a digital platform. But I still wanted to figure out how I can still use these traditional techniques with digital paintings.
What Painter has done within the past few years has definitely helped me transition my techniques onto a digital platform seamlessly. Being able to have stock brushes perform and look like traditional mediums is a huge relief for me. I don’t have to fight the software and it saved me a lot of time allowing me to focus solely on creating the artwork.
Corel Painter has so many options; it’s difficult to narrow down which part is my favorite. From the layout of the platform to the brushes themselves, you can customize pretty much everything. The real gems are the stock brushes: thick paint, digital airbrush, oil pastels, 2b pencils, the list goes on and on.
Having the stock brushes perform the way they do is a huge advantage, as they don’t force the artist to mimic anything. Any artist can sketch with a “2b pencil” through Painter and they don’t have to worry if the pencil will look or feel the same as the traditional counterpart. Just knowing that whatever you want is within the program, is an ultimate relief for any new or veteran artist.
My advice would be: when you’re creating art, don’t go chasing a “style.” Understand that it is not a style you are looking for, but instead it is your signature you are in search of. Now that statement can be very confusing to most, but what I’m trying to say is most amateurs or artists starting out tend to want to skip the fundamentals to drawing and painting because it’s boring, and staying in this learning position without seeing any results can be discouraging. So what I would advise is to approach the fundamentals as a signature. As children we were all taught to practice our signature until you finally find it and, in turn, no one could copy. This concept should also apply to any artist creating art. It is very easy to copy someone’s style but very difficult to forge their signature. Don’t go chasing a style! FIND YOUR OWN ARTISTIC SIGNATURE!
When it comes to creating digital art it tends to be an expensive investment that is worth every penny. No artist wants to create on a device that experiences lag or freezes. My hardware setup that I currently work with is a Wacom Cintiq 13 QHD along with my MacBook Pro 2017 (3.1 Ghz Intel Core i7 HD Graphics 630). The current setup I have works well for me because it enables me to carry it wherever I go. But soon I will be trying out and making the switch to a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 with a Pro Engine.