Featured Pro Portfolio: Michael Chang

ArtStation Pro websites keep getting better and better with all our new updates recently released and to come! This week we’re featuring the portfolio website of Hong Kong concept artist, illustrator and art director, Michael Chang.

Check out Michael’s ArtStation-powered website.  

In this interview, he discusses his process, inspiration and best advice for making work that tells a story.

Where do you find your inspiration?

The better the story you are inspired by, the richer of the image you can create.

I love anything with a good story and some good visual elements. Sometimes, it helps to take inspiration from our own experiences, especially those that touch you the most and then you have to try try to express that same feeling in your own way.

For example,  one of my pieces, “The Missing Girl” is mainly inspired by some of detective thrillers I love.  Personally, I am a big fan of this kind of movies and love most of the movies made by David Fincher, such as Seven and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The better the story you are inspired by, the richer of the image you can create.

What is the first thing you do when starting a new artwork?

Doing research for reference and making some rough sketches to make sure the composition and presentation fits the theme.

What do you think makes a portfolio stand out?

 You have to make sure your artwork is at a high quality standard and try to be extreme and special compared to other works in the industry. I remember the time I was working for Dark Souls, we need to expand the idea and develop what we were given to even more outstanding and extreme images like that time we needed to create a disturbing human crow.

The main purpose is making it look more disturbing and mysterious, and we didn’t want to do this using some ordinary solution like showing their muscle tissue or organs, similarly to how other horror movies or games do in the old time.

To make a human crow more disturbing and not only visually terrifying, we wanted it to go even further by making it spiritual so we made its eyes smaller, gave it twisted muscle tissue with pale skin and a thin long body.  As it turned out, it did leave a pretty impressive image to the gamers.

What is the best piece of art advice you’ve ever received?

Try to exceed yourselves. Face your weakness and overcome it. Don’t just focus on the things you already do well.

For example, if you are not good at machine and sci-fi concepts , you can try to see more sci-fi movies and try to do more concepts and practice. If you are not good at lighting, maybe study it by using some 3D softwares or any good references you can easily find on the internet.

 See more of Michael’s work on his portfolio website. To learn more about ArtStation Pro websites, click here.

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.