William Chua a.k.a. Xiaobaosg is a person who I’ve followed for quite a few years now. Working as a freelance illustrator, and a kidult, who believes in creating something out of nothing and also an artist heavily influenced by Japanese and Chinese culture. Projects include illustration and tutorials for Adobe Illustrator CS4, Chinese New Year Events in Chinatown Singapore, Tiger Beer Translate and had participated in several international art exhibitions and events. We sit down and talk about art, culture, movies & more!
Could you tell us your creative process? How do you make a composition?
Xiaobaosg: I usually start from drawing out a thumbnail or sketch on paper to have a rough feel and idea of the design. After which, I will do some research on the subject to make the design interesting. The foreground, character and background are usually drawn on different layer on Photoshop then adjusted until it looks right to me.
How long did it take you to develop this method?
Xiaobaosg: It took me about two to three years and I’m still learning and developing it every day.
You draw alot of inspirations from Chinese mythology. Are you a big history buff?
Xiaobaosg: No doubt about this. Chinese mythology is one of the subjects I’m into since young.
Is the art scene healthy in Singapore? What is it like to be a creative in that environment?
Xiaobaosg: Art scene in Singapore to me is considered healthy but young and growing. Singapore is a unique place in its own where many culture blends together, thus allowing us the unlimited possibilities to create something uniquely different.
Did you always plan to sell your work, and how did your first sale come about? Has the profitability of your art had any effect on the way you now draw?
Xiaobaosg: No, actually I only started to sell my work last year after my artwork “Hunting season” (inspired by Mario) becomes a hit on the net, I received hundreds of emails in a day to request the artwork to be sold and this is how everything began.
Where did your obsessions with Panda Bears begin?
Xiaobaosg: It began in 2007 when I was planning of creating a new character for my personal works. The ideas of panda in propaganda style popped out to me as I know China will be hosting the Olympics in 2008 and they have a long propaganda history. The panda, being China’s national treasure, is always associated with China.
Some of your pieces are inspired by video games as well. Are you a big gamer?
Xiaobaosg: Yes! I’ve played video games since the Atari era.
What about Asian movies or anime? Got any favorites?
Xiaobaosg: Yup, movies and animation do inspired me. There’s a lot but to name a few are animations from Hayao Miyazaki, Gurren Lagann, and especially One Piece.
What are your feelings concerning the evolution of style? Do you feel there is one distinct aspect of your work that will remain constant?
Xiaobaosg: I think my drawing style will remain constant, as every artist has his own distinct style. However, a lot of fine-tuning occurs along the way as artists learn new ways of creating art and I see this as an upgrading of skills.
The lines that once separated graphic design, illustration and fine art continue to disappear. What is your opinion concerning this (relatively) current development?
Xiaobaosg: I guess the Internet plays a very big part, allowing different races and cultures to be promoted and reviewed through the net, and everyone is exposed to different media everyday without the need to get out of their area. With such kind of possibilities, it’s only inevitable that the line will soon to disappear, where every possibility is being explored and appreciated.
Thanks for your time; before you go do you have any big upcoming projects you could tell us about?
Xiaobaosg: I’m in the process of creating my personal project “80’s Warrior’s Record”, the mixture of the game from the 80s with Ukiyoe style and if you are interested to find out more. Do join me at http://www.facebook.com/pages/xiaobaosg/147232050752