Featured Pro Portfolio: Ricky Ho
Ricky Ho was a teenager in high school when a college recruiter’s presentation opened his eyes to the world of concept art. Though he later attended a semester of art college, Ricky ultimately decided to leave to pursue his own learning path. Working by day and studying by night with online art tutorials, his dedication to his portfolio development ultimately helped him find his first big professional break. Today Ricky’s resume includes work for game titles like The Last of Us Part II and Ashes of Creation.
In this interview, we talked with Ricky about his professional work, what sparks his creativity, and what advice he has to give new artists.
First, can you tell us about one of your favorite portfolio pieces?
My favorite piece would be “Mistborn: Luthadel at Night“. It might be divisive to choose fan art as my favorite, but the novel greatly inspired me. Interestingly enough, it has not been adapted into a film, a television show, or a game. Books are a great opportunity for concept artists to flex their design skills. I prefer novels that have detailed world-building because it allows me to do my favorite thing – visualize imaginary worlds.
Shop Ricky’s Mistborn: Luthadel at Night Prints on his ArtStation portfolio website here >
How did you get your first job as a professional artist?
It took a few years and many small jobs before I had my big chance.
Shaddy Safadi, Co-Founder and Art Director of One Pixel Brush, liked and commented on one of my images. I took that as my opening. I emailed him within the hour, hoping this would be my chance. He responded and told me that there weren’t any immediate openings, but he would consider me for the future. At that time I didn’t know the future meant a couple of weeks.
One night I woke up in the middle of the evening and checked my phone. There it was, an email confirming my first job with One Pixel Brush working on The Last of Us Part II.
Ricky uses the Horizon theme on his ArtStation portfolio website. See his work for The Last of Us Part II here >
What inspires you?
I really enjoy nature, and environments are my favorite thing to create. Nothing can replace the experience you get when you witness the beauty of nature in person. I’ve been in plenty of creative slumps and I can promise you that a hike always has pulled me out. I highly encourage everyone to go out and appreciate the world.
How does your favorite ArtStation Pro feature connect to your portfolio?
My favorite feature is having a personal website. It’s so easy to create, maintain, and upload my work. Sometimes I’ll still look at old archived work and get a good laugh.
I’ve used ArtStation to host my website from when I first started out until now and it’s amazing to see it evolve.
What advice do you have for artists just starting their careers?
My biggest advice is to do your research, whether for a project or a studio you want to work for. If it’s a personal project, do your due diligence and spend days researching. I’ll sometimes spend weeks preparing and researching before I begin a personal project.
I think the quickest way to break into the industry is to be a specialist. I find generalists, especially newer artists, are spread too thin by spending their time trying to do too much. The best thing I did for myself was finding one studio I wanted to work for and tailoring my work to match. At the time it was One Pixel Brush, then it was Intrepid Studios. Who knows what’s next.
ArtStation portfolio websites make it easy to show off your professional specialties to recruiters and employers.
See more of Ricky’s work on his portfolio website.
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