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Art & Life with Esther Wu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Esther Wu.

Esther, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I’m a New Yorker deep down who stumbled their way through the South, the Pacific Northwest, then the Bay area, and down to sunny San Diego and now in Orange County. I grew up on video games and manga, in between being buried alive by textbooks and Saturday cram school. I was prepared for a long academic route for a Ph.D. in Greco-Roman history and ancient civilization, but some game called Uncharted 2 got me saying… I’m going to L.A. Four years, one BFA in Illustration from SCAD and three-game studios later, I’m at least an hour away!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art has transformed over the years, as I’ve relearned the fundamentals and design theories, but the message remains the same– I love narrative. I love tiny details, the gesture of an image, and the artistic skill of execution. I create concept art for games and entertainment, mostly through digital. I also love traditional art, so I’ll post paintings in gouache or ink drawings. The traditional art comes from my childhood appreciation of art, as I didn’t learn how to digitally paint until 17-18.

I find that the most meaningful art always has a message, and although I’m still trying to find my voice, my message has always been to share or show a world through this brief window I’ve created. A lot of inspiration comes from games, nostalgia, and personal experiences. Art for me is the filter to show people that which makes “me”. Sometimes it’s simple, I mean I love mechs, so you’ll see mechanical designs and mecha. Sometimes it’s a little more emphasis on story, a mood. Originally, I had hopes of becoming a fine artist, so I always have a thesis or a theme with what I’m trying to describe visually. That fine artist that was cultivated in NY has been with me since.

I hope the thing that viewers experience from my artwork is that it reminds them of something. I hope that my art can make them reflect on a mood, on a memory, or brings them joy.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Success is so specific for the individual. I feel that as long as you hit your benchmarks, exceed your expectations, and give yourself the direction you need, you are successful. Characteristics I feel that is essential to success is perseverance, patience, and acceptance. There’s always someone younger, more innovative, faster. There’s also, always something older, more wise, more patient. Sticking to your goals, being patient with yourself, and acknowledging there are somethings you can and can’t do, I find are hallmarks of being successful. Also love yourself.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or artstation! My handle is all the same, which is artbywu. And of course, messaging me or reaching out to me on those platforms. 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait photo is taken by Jenn Ravenna Tran

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