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Meet Chi Ngo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chi Ngo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Chi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a Vietnamese illustrator and artist in animation based in Los Angeles, California. I was born and raised in Hochiminh City, but I spent most of my adult life here. I’m currently working at Hasbro as a Background Designer on a Transformer animated series, but I have also done freelance for prominent companies such as Cartoon Network, Glow in the Dark Studios, Hello Design. My work was exhibited in many gallery shows such as Gallery Nucleus for a Naruto Tribute show, and Qpop Shop.

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember! Growing up, I used to get in trouble a lot for doodling in class, because my teachers think that I’d inspire my classmates to draw as well. I have had many doubts about pursuing art as a career. However, I’ve always known that I want to do something creative, so being my stubborn self, I applied to art school, and have never regretted my decision ever since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Coming from a family of architects, I was fortunate to have parents who are so supportive and understand the importance of pursuing your passion. My mom especially is the one who inspired me to become an artist. My parents sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am today, and I was not going to let them down.

Another big struggle of mine is that after graduation, I was feeling very lost and confused when I kept getting rejections. I thought that I wasn’t good enough and I really started to hate what I draw. You are your own worst enemy, I guess. It was tough for a while, but I found that there’s more to me than just art. My journey of self-realization is still in progress, and I have my dear friends and family to thank for their encouragements and love.

Chi Ngo – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
During the day, I’m a background design for animation. I create environments where the characters live in and design props that they interact with. After the line work is approved by an art director, I jump into painting the background so it will be ready for the screen. Story is very important in animation, so it’s crucial to design with a purpose that serves the story.

In my free time, I work on my personal work. I specialized in visual development and illustration because I believe each story or moments has its own visual style. I love to illustrates story moments that has a lot of vital energy and unspoken feelings. To me, a single image can convey so much more than spoken words. Being playful with light, colors and shape languages can really transform the ordinary to something more intimate and whimsical.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment was when I debuted my artbook “Cheese!” at Creative Talent Expo. The amount of positive responses was incredible. I was so surprised at how much my art touched and moved people. This makes me realize the real reason why I wanted to do art because I love to be able to share and visualize feelings that a lot of people recognized but cannot be described into words. There is something truly amazing about how much art can bring people together.

I’m also happy to share that I will be a part of Lightbox Expo in September among many incredible prominent professionals in the animation, TV/films and game industry. It’s truly an honor to be included with my childhood art heroes who worked on many classic Disney and Dreamworks movies that I grew up loving.


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nicole Lim

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