The film, animation, and game industries of the past several decades have always been perceived as an industry dominated by men. However, recent years have seen a rise in female artists, and with this event, we would like to celebrate and showcase some of the best female concept artists in the region, and help change the perception of female artists in the industry. Fictionary is a biennial exhibition organized by The One Academy’s OneArtClub which debuted in 2014, and has returned once again this year with an all-girls squad with the theme – “Girls’ Generation”. At a time where the illustration industry sees mostly male artists being involved in the production of art, comics and so on, this is a major step to cementing female artists as being equally talented as their male counterparts.
Empowering women to go above and beyond, Fictionary 3.0 serves as a platform for these 18 talented ladies to pull out all the stops and showcase their compelling pieces of artworks. Fictionary is a combination of the words ‘fiction’ and ‘visionary’, and it encourages young talents to come up with illustrations that are imaginative and delve into the elements of sci-fi and fantasy. The exhibition featured various astonishing digital print artworks by Malaysian and international artists, and included highlights such as Artists Talk and roundtable discussions where ideas and experiences are shared across professionals, aspiring artists and students.
Two of the best female artists in the region, Beatrice Tan or better known by her alias kiDChan, and Tricia Wee were invited for the Artists Talk where they shared the journey towards their career as concept artists. Both are graduates of The One Academy and used to work as illustration tutors there before moving on to their professional careers. kiDChan is known for her beautiful manga-style drawings, floral patterns and flowing fabrics; and has a huge following on social media. She has 10 years of experience in freelancing and working on her own illustrations, and has only recently started working as a concept artist at Appxplore.
Tricia Wee grew up under the influence of manga comics and cartoons. After graduating, she has worked as a concept artist for various game companies before changing industry to work on slot games now at Mocreative Pte. Ltd. Some of the titles that she has worked on include Pokken Tournament (Pokemon battle in Tekken style), Tekken 7 and Street Fighter Femme Fatale. The audience got to hear from two perspectives on how to build a career as a concept artist and also a freelance artist.
Tricia shared some of her company work and projects she enjoyed doing. She said that as an artist, it is important to keep doing personal work even when working for a company to achieve a balance. Company work explores new, unfamiliar territories while personal work builds up on personal development and strengthens the portfolio. She also shared five tips to become a better concept artist: understand your role as an artist, embrace teamwork, be open to new experiences, build a network and to never forget your starting point.
kiDChan talked about how she became an artist, and showed some of her personal and commissioned artworks. She has always found her place in art early in life, having been a fan of comics. She was inspired to be like her elder sister who could draw really well. Although not as artistically gifted as her sister and having parents who were not as supportive, she was adamant about drawing. She described herself as an “aimless salesgirl by day, dreamer by night,” as she would work part-time jobs in the day and draw her favourite characters in the night. Her chance at creative education materialised when she obtained a scholarship from The One Academy and The Star Education Fund, reminiscing that she has learnt a lot from her time at the academy such as anatomy drawing and colour mood studies.
She shared that freelance work is a very lonely profession, as the artist does everything by themselves. She realised that she had to break away from her limitations and push herself more than what she was doing then. She finally landed a job as a concept artist, but deemed herself very inexperienced and inadequate as compared to her peers. She spoke openly about her struggle with depression and artist’s block. She was afraid that she could not catch up to her colleagues who are all very young and talented. She was advised not to look at these as obstacles, but as new learning opportunities.
“Life itself is a learning curve, you will encounter ups and downs. You will learn new things about yourself, things you like or dislike, things you tolerate or emphasise. You might only know what you truly want to do much, much later. Be happy along the way,” assured kiDChan.
The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its ‘Masters Train Masters’ coaching philosophy, which has been practised for the past 27 years, by providing diploma and degree courses namely Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts and Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making. For more information on The One Academy, visit www.toa.edu.my or call +603-5637 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].
The One Academy of Communication Design