Funny story with this interview. I worked as a freelancer designer for a company about 5 months back. Upon signing up, they handed me a calendar with different illustration on it and the one that stuck out the most was by an illustrator named Vince Chui. A quick google search of his name opened up a world of awesome art for me. I HAD to interview Vince and it turned out he was a super swell guy who has a great humble personality to match his awesome art abilities. We sat down and talked about his friends (that have been interviewed on this site!), video games, anime, & more! Peep the full interview below…
Yo Vince, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Vince: Well I studied Illustration at OCAD where mostly the focus was all traditional art. Then I went to Sheridan (postgrad) for computer animation, where I picked up on digital art. After graduating I went into the gaming industry where I started off doing a little bit of 3d, textures and concept (mostly focusing on texture creation in the beginning). I eventually started to focus on the concept side. The company folded and then I started off as a freelancer. It’s allowed me to explore many different aspects of the illustration industry.
You’ve worked a tiny bit in the movie business. Can you explain your adventures in that field?
Vince: Yeah I worked only a smidge in it. Working on site there’s a lot of creative energy, but on the flipside it’s quite stressful. Art needs to be done fast. There’s more than one person you could feeding your art to, could be props, make up (it leads to other departments). One of the bonuses I had working on site was bumping into Jessica Alba.
I’ve also worked offsite and that’s a little bit different. It’s very stressful working remotely. But there’s less distractions you can sit and just focus and send things out. But long hours (exercise people!!!! If you sit at your desk 16 hrs in a day for weeks at a time, your health is going to decline)
Have you had a chance to get your hands around a controller for Marvel vs Capcom 3? What do you think about the art direction on the game?
Vince: No Unfortunately. After going freelance I rarely play games now. But I do find I’m drawing more because of it. But I miss playing, but I do have this guilty feeling in the back of my mind. I should be drawing or excercising or networking etc. It’s cool but I prefer the classic Marvel Vs Capcom. Just looking at the classic gets me excited, it has such a nice balance of style, and wonkiness without being kiddish.
How was it being apart of Udon’s Street Fighter Tribute publication?
Vince: I was pretty excited, It was my second book publication. Plus being packed in there with other great artists I felt honored and humbled. I just had picked up a cintiq/wacom at that time and that was the first painting piece I had done with it (although I have to admit that old piece feels a bit crude now. I just happened to have finished another Streetfighter character recently that I’m pretty happy with). Funny enough that book introduced me to my friend Charlene who’s art was also a contributer (along with my friend Ted Kim, who used to be my art lead when I worked in games).
Yeah, we interviewed Charlene Chua a few weeks back, and seeing as you both are friends living in Canada, I’ll ask you the same question I asked her. What’s the biggest culture shock living in Canada as an Asian artist?
Vince: Well for me I’ve lived in Canada all my life. I’m kind of opposite to Charlene. I’ve only been to Asia once and that’s was a total culture shock. Where I grew up there were very few asians when I was young. It wasn’t untill highschool that I began to see more Asians. Now a days it’s such a mix and diversity Canada it’s pretty cool (especially if you like to eat!)
What do you enjoy more, texturing 3D models, animation, or straight up design/illustration?
Vince: Hands down Illustration. I happier working in Illustration. 3d and texturing is fun. But it is extremely laboring. Especially in games. Characters rarely stand still enough for you to appreciate the art of it. Plus I just really enjoy drawing and colouring. There’s a kind of magic to it faking reality and or creating from imagination.
It’s no secret you’re a fan of old Japanese cartoons but what about anime? Give us the lowdown on your favorite Mecha anime (Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc.)?
Vince: I guess its that obvious. I’m big on the oldschool anime. I have a soft spot for 70’s-80’s robot shows.
Getter Robo G(also known as starvengers), Mazinger, Grandizer, Danguard Ace, Gaiking, Voltron. Gurran Lagann is one of my new favorites (It keeps the heart of oldschool robots but keeps it modern and fresh). I used to like Gundam when I was younger but now there’s so many versions I just can’t keep up with it (I know someone is giving me a dirty look right now).
If the economy bounced back and became better than ever, would you abandon your freelancer ways? Explain your thought process behind your decision, if you would.
Vince: That’s a very tough question. I’m constantly torn between the two. I still feel like I’m climbing and exploring opportunities.
As a freelancer I feel challenged, I’m constantly doing something different from each project. I always look forward to working with new and old clients. But stability is always a nice thing and more appealing as I get older. But I’m willing at the time being to be a freelancer. I’m still hungry to see what’s out there.
How do you deal with a uncooperative client?
Vince: Luckily it hasn’t happened too many times. Helping a client know how much time and expectation and budget is a very delicate balancing act. Constant communication is critical. But it can be very difficult to work with a client to figure out what they’re searching for, because sometimes they’re not sure what they want before coming to you. But working all that stuff in roughs will making things go smoother in the end.
Plus it’s always reassuring to know, at some point the project will come to a end and you can move onto the next one.
Lastly, any advice for the aspiring creatives out there in internet land?
Vince: Never be to satisfied with your work. Jot down ideas/doodles for later. Some of my favorite pieces came to me during breaks from a project, and I just jotted it down. Constantly share your work, you’ll eventually find your audience if you’re having fun. Oh and try to keep in good health(eat well/exercise). Keeping healthy makes it easier to be creative.
Want to keep tabs on Vince? Visit his website which has his blog, twitter, & more! Just visit: http://www.kidchuckle.com/