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Rising Stars: Meet Gary Chen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Chen.

Hi Gary, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was a kid distracted by movies, toys and video games when growing up. The awesome visual designs and clever storytelling from various entertainment media always left me in great amazement throughout my childhood. This is the reason why I decided to have a career in the entertainment industry as a concept artist/toy designer.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
To me, it’s a little difficult at first – I trained myself to be a design generalist, meaning that I am able to design different subject matters and problem-solve with various approaches and media. However, this strategy became a problem when I was trying to navigate the job market. Most of the design positions, especially from larger corporations are highly specialized, and being a design generalist is probably not ideal for the aforementioned scenario. It took me a while to find my own direction – positioning myself as a one-stop shop and providing a wide range of services to unique audiences.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My current day job is a toy designer for a major toy manufacturer in LA. My specialty is to put makeup on fashion doll faces and do all kinds of leading-edge R&D for my employer. Due to strict copyright regulation, it may be better not to mention the brand/IP of my work (definitely not Barbie 😉 ). During the nights and weekends, I worked on personal design projects to explore my own identity as a designer/artist. My current personal work involves cute anthropomorphic animals as characters and cool vehicles.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Don’t spend all the time on the client’s work. Leave some time for yourself to work on personal projects and cultivate a unique voice as an artist.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All images provided belong to Gary Chen and GDEV LLC. All rights reserved

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