As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of scifi and fantasy digital art. So, to kind of indulge myself and show off some of the really cool stuff I find out there, I’ve decided to start doing spotlights on digital artists that I find. SpecArt Spotlight will feature artists who’s creations fall under the speculative fiction genre umbrella, be it science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, horror, whatever. And, it doesn’t necessarily mean just visual artists, could be written or maybe even spoken. Who knows, just depends on what I find.
As for the structure, I’ll focus on a quick five questions, each one accompanied by a piece of their art. With the last of those questions, we get a little fun. In addition, we’ll have a bonus piece of their art that I’ll use as inspiration for a quick, flash story.
Today’s spotlight artist is Jasper Zhao, from Hangzhou, China. Jasper is a concept artist and does pre-concept design for games and movies. Before that, he studied sculpture at university, but has been painting since he was a child.
SM: So, your bio says you’re an Illustrator/Concept Artist at NetEase Games. Is this your dream job?
JZ: No, actually. My dream job should be to be an astronaut. After all, the stars are the future of mankind. Just kidding. My dream is to be able to make really interesting designs for games and movies. Right now, I’m not even close. This is my full-time job.and I do some commission work sometimes when I’m not busy.
SM:When working on a specific do you have a story in mind for the piece, or do you kind of Bob Ross it where you just start going and add happy little laser guns?
JZ: Yes. I always have a general picture in mind when I start to draw. but I don’t want to make it too prescriptive. Sometimes the best thing is a flash of inspiration.
SM: What drives your creativity in your art? Like, for me it varies. Sometimes a song will spark a story or scene, other times it’s someone’s art like yours. What makes you get up and draw these fantastic environments?
JZ: Just like you, I find inspiration in all kinds of art.It could be a photo or a news from internet or a building and something like that. Life has given me more inspiration than I ever could have imagined.
SM: What is your favorite genre under the Speculative Fiction umbrella? science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, horror? And why?
I think I prefer horror novels. But I see enough horror in the news every day. It’s a story you can’t make up in a novel
SM: If you were suddenly bit by some radioactive creature, what superpower would you hope to get?
JZ: It is well known that a cat is a liquid.I choose to be CatMan. Bruce Lee said “Be Water. My Friend.”So he’s a cat person, right?
Now comes time for a little work on my end. Jasper was gracious enough of supply the art pieces above, as well as one extra for the flash story. Now, I’ve already written something for “Something Happened…..” on Question 2. That story was done under 20TweetTales and is here. However, for SpecArt Spotlight, I didn’t want to rehash that. Instead, I’ll use another of his pieces to continue that story. So here is…..
Okay, there we go. That was the first of my SpecArt Spotlight. I’m going to try to do one of these each month. There are so many great digital artists out there, already I have a year’s worth that I’m looking at asking. If you want to check out more of Jasper’s work, which I highly encourage you to, you can find him on ArtStation.
Keep flyin’. It’s a big, wide ‘verse out there, and we don’t want to miss a jot of it.