Intro: Pao (Thitipong Jitmakusol) is amulti-skilled artist born in Bangkok, Thailand. He grew up in a wholesale paper factory, which introduced him to the world of art and creativity. His works have received recognition internationally and he currently works as a self-employed artist in Venice, California. Pao has been involved in projects such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, both Transformers movies, Speed Racer, a Halo 3 TVspotand The Sims 2 video game.
3DTotal: I see you are from Bangkok, Thailand, but now work in Venice, California. Can you tell us a bit about this transition? Pao: Like many of us, I was inspired by Hollywood special effects and CG animations while I was much younger. I figured if I wanted to be working at the professional level I would have to go where the pros are. It was quite a mission to persuade my parents, as making money by doing art is nowhere near any concept they have. I lived in New Zealand for roughly three years so the fact that I have to be very far away from home was not that much of an issue.
3DTotal: Do you have an academic training? Or are you are self-taught? Or maybe both? Pao: I believe I learn through experiences. I was originally a "self-taught", traditional artist and then I went to an art school in Savannah, Georgia for my BFA. This was mainly to concentrate on my computer skills and to meet colleagues and friends. Being around people who have the same goals and interests can really boost your learning curve.
3DTotal: Do you think you could have made it in the industry without going to art school? Are any of your colleagues 100% self-taught or do you think this is impossible these days? Pao: I like to believe that with enough determination you can pretty much reach any goal you want, so I want to say yes, however I imagine it can be a long road since you will have to face trials and errors all by yourself. I don't know really where "100% self-taught" draws the line as I have not met a person like that. We all learn from each other or through media; it is just harder for the ego to accept that fact.
3DTotal: In your gallery you seem to be a very accomplished 2D and 3D artist, but which one came first? And do you have any preferences in the types of work you do? Pao: I started doing tradition arts such as drawing, painting and sculpting, and then I got really interested in CG and became a 3D person, but lately my need for flat 2D images or illustrations has fought its way back. However, I try not to restrict myself to one media or art form. I want to be flexible and try new things as long as the subject is inspiring and fun.
3DTotal: Do you pursue personal projects outside work? Or do you have any other hobbies that get you away from the computer screen? Pao: Definitely! I am constantly working on my own projects and trying new techniques. I have been working on this cute crazy cartoon character "HANGBoY" (www.hangboy.com) for a long while. It started as a casual project and got larger over times. For a different taste I occasionally release Ninja illustrations. They’re not yet on my website, but there is a secret fan page on Facebook.
Outside of the artsy world I try to keep myself active and right now my focus on is martial arts.
Good for sanity.
the art of ninja stuff on facebook is the best thing i've seen in a long time. any prints for sale? i also like that you're a martial artist, a form of art that not many people consider. good luck to you