Today we’d like to introduce you to Anda Sung.
Anda, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My name is Anda Sung, I’m a freelance concept artist based in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to LA when I was 17. I grew up in a single-parent family and my mom had a huge impact on who I was to become. When I was little, she used to work as unskilled labor for outsourcing companies binding books together and gluing stickers on postcards. There was always a stack of paper and cardboard in the factory, and I would start drawing on them when I was bored. As I grew up, my interest in drawing developed with me.
Working for a manufacturing factory didn’t make enough money for our family, so my mom decided to switch her career to cooking. I would tag along with her on a bike to sell lunch boxes to office workers. When I was in kindergarten, she opened a short-lived chicken soup restaurant that got shut down after a few months. She then started selling fried chicken by my elementary school from a little street food cart. I would help her while doing my homework at the cart after school. The business did well enough that our family opened a breakfast restaurant that is still open now. My favorite part of helping with food was talking to different customers from all walks of life and listening to their stories. Because of all these unique experiences, my personality became more outgoing and optimistic. Most importantly, I learned how to handle things with an open mind.
The heavy school and restaurant workload were a little overwhelming sometimes. Drawing imaginary places and funny creatures helped me escape from reality. I never dreamed of being a professional artist, I just simply love drawing. Unlike most of the Asian family stereotypes of not allowing their kids to pursue art, my family is super supportive of what I love to do. They would always try to give me the best in their limited capability, taking me to watch movies and letting me go to drawing classes.
By the end of 2012, my sister and I immigrated to America. I got into ArtCenter College of Design in 2015, one of the best design schools in California and the world. In the meantime, I also studied at Brainstorm School in Burbank. The language barrier became the most difficult problem for my education. Not understanding fully what my teachers or classmates were saying nor being able to express my own feelings gave me great motivation to work harder. I had to do extra homework to convey my ideas and feelings. I am very grateful for all the friends and teachers that I met during school and how my family with them supported and helped me along my journey to pursuing my dream. After absorbing lots of professional art and design knowledge, I started working as a freelance illustrator and designer and continue to happily do so today.
Please tell us about your art.
I specialized in realistic environment concept illustrations. I have experience with set design for theater, architecture visualization and product design for real-world applications as well as concept work for video games. I love to challenge myself and try to work on all kinds of projects in all different industries; entertainment, theme parks, commercials and more. Now I’m looking for opportunities in film and TV, which I am very excited about. For me, concept design is very challenging and engaging. A piece of successful concept illustration needs to use lighting, color, composition and design to tell a story.
I want my audiences to feel like they are actually at the place when they are looking at my painting. I hope my artworks will be able to touch people’s lives and influence their understanding of life in this world. I want to see people react to my work, whether it’s happy or sad. In the future, I wish to bring awareness to social problems and challenge people to communicate with each other through a better-designed world, be through the medium of entertainment or lifestyle applicable.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
When I first started out as a freelancer, the journey was very bumpy and tough. There would be times that the work was dry for weeks or months because sometimes a lot of projects are moving into production or being canceled. During these times, I think it is very important for artists to stay confident knowing that we have the ability to accomplish quality work, but the chance just hasn’t found us yet. And remember to use this time wisely, learn new things, do more personal work, attend more events and meet more industry professionals. Going to art school left me with a huge amount of debt but as I started working I also started supporting my family financially. Therefore, I have to plan a lot of things and prepare for the worst. By having a baseline, I can reach my goals much more smoothly and I can put more energy in having a positive attitude knowing that I won’t have to worry about my rent for the next couple of months. For those people who are learning the art or just starting out, please don’t give up! To quote the famous novelist author Paulo Coelho, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
In the end, I want to thank everyone who has supported me and taught me so many great lessons along this adventurous concept art journey, my family, friends, teachers, classmates, and my coworkers and peers. Without their help, I wouldn’t be able to have such great opportunities and I hope to continue learning and growing.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I post most of my artwork on my ArtStation, Instagram, Facebook and my personal website andasung.com. I love people leaving comments and sending me messages and giving me feedback. Positive and negative feedback helps me grow as a better artist. I’m very welcome to any collaboration projects or commissions.