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Conversations with Eric Ng

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Ng.

Hi Eric, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up with a fond love of comic books and cartoons and was fortunate enough with parents who shared that passion as well. I remember going to my first Comic-Con in San Diego when I was 12 while on a family trip. I was blown away that people were creating such masterful artwork with beautifully told stories while bringing characters and worlds to life. My most memorable point of the trip was having a sketchbook with me as a young, aspiring artist. I would visit artists and get signatures and sketches from the creators of my beloved superheroes. The live drawing really inspired me and fueled my passion for drawing and art as I watched these talented heroes of mine create images out of thin air. Since then, I took art classes throughout my youth where I enjoyed competing in art contests all around the US where I would illustrate adventures that would be in my head.

Heading to college, I did not know of job options as an artist, so I went the route of science. I was lost and realized that for myself, there was a lack of passion that I had when I was drawing. I was introduced to this trade of Industrial Design where people could create products from scratch that could change lives. I decided to change my career paths toward Art Center College of Design where my future opportunities were created. It was an opportune time during my studies there as our Entertainment Design department began and I was a part of the flagship inaugural class. I was fortunate to be taught by some of the most passionate and exceptional educators of the field. We had instructors from comic books, movies, and video games driving our learning experiences. I ate up every moment of my time at school. Many of my instructors became my mentors and I will always remember how knowledgeable they were and how masterful they were at imparting skills to us. They have always been my inspiration to guide the future generations as well. While working as an entertainment designer in the field, I was invited back to teach at Art Center and have been a part of the faculty since.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I love teaching in person and working with students. I enjoy the challenge of catering knowledge to students in a manner they would understand to pull out their best potential. I think the toughest part about 2020 was the switchover to fully teach online. Zoom fatigue became real for students and instructors all around the world as they had to scramble to not miss a beat for the sake of their students. In my studies, I chose a path that required rigorous training and practice to hone skills. It was grueling at times with late nights and endless projects, but I always had a knack of finding the process enjoyable. This taught me to be goal-oriented and made it easy for me to be driven. The industrial design process that I learned of acknowledging a problem and creating solutions eventually became my life model.

With restrictions of travel and live schooling, education became more difficult especially for an artist who requires visuals. Luckily, I spent most of my life working with computers and photographic equipment. I spent countless days and nights tweaking and tinkering my setup in hopes to create the most ideal classroom for my students. As a result of problem-solving during the pandemic, I founded my own series of online courses. Through my trials, one of the best things emerging out of the pandemic was that I can now reach students from around the world through my online classes. It’s been quite and adventure meeting dedicated people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn the skills of drafting and entertainment design.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I enjoy creating everyday, whatever the medium is. Professionally, I am an Educator, Concept Artist, and Photographer. I specialize in storytelling and creating make-believe worlds that can come to life. I love sketching on location to learn of all unique cultures. Being an artist has allowed for me to travel the world to hone my craft as well as to teach and share my stories. A few years ago, I was invited to be a guest panelist at Comic-Con which was a huge moment for me. My 12 years old self would have never expected that to happen. I think the only thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m still as curious as I was back then. Currently, I teach at Art Center College of Design, Brainstorm School and my platform entitled, DrawWithEric. My strengths are in teaching creative world-building, drafting and perspective, as well as professional craft. I’m probably the strictest instructor they’ll run into, but also fair and honest in my feedback. My proudest moments have been to see the spark click for my students when they see their improvement and can visualize what has only been in their minds.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
As an artist, finding the right mentor and instructor is the best way to go. I was lucky to have mentors all throughout my life who have given me so much knowledge and support to get to where I am now. I think that as a student, pick a mentor who is excited to share their knowledge, inspires you to level up, and gives you the proper feedback to flourish. Your network will grow in classes with your peers as they see how hard you work and how you deliver so honing in your work ethic along with your skills is a must.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
ProjectBazooka Photography

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