Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina “Yen-Chun” Chang.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I came from Taiwan and landed in California in 2006 to pursue my dream.
When I was young, I have been an artist since I-can’t-recall when.
The very first regular art class I had in my childhood was a Chinese calligraphy painting class. When I was in 3rd grade, my piano coach referred me to a famous Chinese calligraphy painter who only taught adults in his classes but generously accepted me as a lucky exception to be his student. Therefore, my foundation was all built up based upon the Chinese traditional painting skills.
Gradually, I shifted my focus and interests to western art when I was in 5th grade. I fell in love with western pen and ink drawings, and at the same time, I also developed an interest in mimicking Japanese manga characters’ drawings. These behaviors led me to mix both drawing techniques together and developed my own drawing style. (you can look at my pencil drawings work on my website).
I guess I am like a lot of other artists – I am emotional, but yet, also very rational. Math was always one of my favorite study subjects since I was young. However, in Taiwan’s old education system, the schools tended to separate Art and Math into different study categories – that means, I could only choose either one to be my future path of study, and I hated that idea a lot.
When I was in high school, I was an art major student. Thus, the school took out a lot of math classes from our curriculum and even replaced the music classes with all the painting classes. I was unpleasant about that but couldn’t do anything about it. I wasn’t mature enough at that age, of course, but I believe my concept was right all the time. I thought/think an artist is not just about being good at the crafting techniques, but also good at exploring new ideas to help the world open its eyes and minds to accept all kinds of possibilities. It sounds irrelevant, but yet, I believed that learning math is an excellent way to train our brains to find out the connections of things that even look irrelevant to the majority. Yes, artists need math!
I told my mother about going abroad to study art before I graduated from high school, and she accepted the idea.
Therefore, I landed in California in 2006 when I reached 20 and was ready to explore the part of the outside world.
In the beginning, I had a hard time learning new materials due to my poor language skills. I guess everyone has a weakness, and my greatest weakness is my language learning skills and that led me to delay my studying progress for years. I learned about Art Center’s Entertainment Design program from the school counselor in 2008, and I made my mind to try everything to get into the program because I saw something I wanted to learn so badly from this major. However, I kept failing an English placement test over and over again to get into Art Center. When I reached age 25, my friends and siblings all suggested me to give up my hope, they thought I was too stubborn to insist what I wanted, but with my mother, aunt, uncle, and my husband’s supports, I finally passed the exam and got accepted by Art Center in 2012.
I was the oldest female student in my class back then, I also didn’t have much experiences doing digital paintings, but you know, I wouldn’t give up learning. I forced myself to paint in Photoshop only, and finally, I picked up the skills and caught up with other students. In 2016, I received 2 awesome internship offers by both Sony PlayStation and Walt Disney Creative Entertainment.
After I graduated, I received several job offers from the top entertainment companies such as DreamWorks TV Animation and Disney Live Entertainment. I still recalled all the hard time I had before, and all the worries I received from my dearest friends and families. However, I am so proud to tell them now – hey, I made it.
Now, I am working as a consultant and illustrator for Disney Live Entertainment, Disney Cruise Lines, and Disneyland International. I have worked on numerous amazing projects for Disneyland’s events’ concept around the world. Although I am proud of what I have achieved so far, I am actually still not satisfied with myself yet. I am eager to learn more and become better. I want to improve my skills and gain knowledge to be a greater and greater designer/artist. I guess I will never ever consider myself good enough to stop learning. 🙂
Please tell us about your art.
I do concept art and also traditional illustrations such as oil painting and pen and inks. I like creating emotional moments in my art pieces that help remind people about other people’s feelings. I think one of the best things about being an artist is that our works can bring some unspoken messages to the viewers. And we can also find out who actually share the same vibe with ourselves.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I think there is no need to blame yourself for spending “too much” time learning something “irrelevant.” Nothing is irrelevant for you to learn to become a good artist, all the things you learned do merge someday and make you a better thinker, so they totally worth your time. 🙂
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I use online portfolio to share my work – GinaChangArt.com
If you would like to support me, please feel free to contact me and give me your honest feedback about my works (it doesn’t matter you are my students or a kid, tell me what you think).
I always love to know where and how I can improve because I know I still have long to go. 🙂
- Website: GinaChangArt.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Gina_Chang_Art
all art were created by Gina Chang
1 of the images have been marked that it is the property of Walt Disney Company