Steve Wang is a freelance concept artist, whose latest work includes the short films by Oats Studios. He discusses workflow, inspiration, and portfolios...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hello, I'm Steve Wang, also known as Swang online. I'm a Taiwanese-born Canadian artist working in the film and game industries. I've been in Vancouver since I finished school, but as a freelancer, clients seems to be from all over the place!
3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
I used to be leaning towards sci-fi, but after working for a few years, I tend to focus more on just creating a cool image. I find it fascinating that a compelling arrangement of shapes works in any genre. My favorite, announced projects that I've worked on are some of the short films by Oats Studios. The creativity involved in those projects were very different from any other studios I've worked with.
3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
I use a PC with a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and the Wacom Art Pen. I can't work on a Cintiq! My go-to softwares are Photoshop, Fusion 360, ZBrush, Modo, and Keyshot. My workflow really changes from task to task, but if I could paint everything in Photoshop I would. No matter the workflow, I always start my ideas in Photoshop, and execute the final in Photoshop.
3dt: What inspires you?
Travelling inspires me, and this is something a freelancer like me gets to take advantage of. It's mentally healthy for me to let art take a back seat, and just absorb the environment around me. Everything is designed by someone at some point, so it can only benefit my art to study them. Other than that, a good piece of art that's not only executed nicely, but makes me ask a ton of "why.” Also a lucky Google or Tumblr search could go a long way.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Two words, personal work. This was something that Ian Spriggs encouraged me to do back at my time with Oats Studios. The truth about this industry is that the art you do is not yours, therefore, you can't always show them at the end of a project. Some people could get stuck at a job if you get on a few projects that never ships or doesn't allow you to show your work. On top of that, personal work allows the artist to really show their most up to date skills.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
There are too many but I would say Richard Schmidt and Jaime Jones. I find that both of them strike a great symphony between rendered and loose strokes. Furthermore, their art is backed up by fundamentals and science, which makes it a joy to study. Personally, I like art that contains some abstraction and impressionism.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
I hate making plans, because the world is changing so fast! One thing for sure though is that my personal pieces will keep on coming. Recently, I've been playing around with the idea of making Youtube/Gumroad content. Other than that, there are a few titles releasing next year that I may or may not have had the opportunity to work on!
Steve Wang's website
Swang on Instagram
Swang on ArtStation