WHAT IS NEW
This is Imagendary Studios’ second year participating in the Creative Art Works’ Character Design Apprenticeship to support underserved New York City teens and young adults to pursue a career in art and game development. This program aims to equip these young apprentices with essential tools and skills; to connect them with community, academic success and career opportunities; and inspire them to reach new possibilities.
The Character Design Apprenticeship program has served over 100 youth apprentices this year from five NYC high schools, which offer students with disabilities, Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners, and students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds equitable access to high-quality internships. The goal of this project is for each youth apprentice to create a fully-realized character with a backstory, personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. FunPlus has invested in the development of the curriculum, teaching artist salaries, and other costs with an eye towards creating a sustainable program. Artists from our Imagendary Studios have also participated regularly via virtual lectures and mentorship sessions with the students.
Since the apprenticeship officially kicked off in February, Imagendary Studios this year has presented several of our extremely talented artists to bring inspiration to the young crowd.
Serg Souleiman, our Senior Concept Artist, talked about his background and shared the early scratch pads he accumulated over the years, as he explained his journey into the world of art. He started out as a professional water polo player, then got inspired by a friend working as an artist at Disney. So he started to pursue a career in art with an absolute minimal art foundation. After years of training and practicing, Serg is now a renowned artist in the gaming industry and has participated in the development of various AAA games.
Bryant Koshu, a Senior Concept Artist at Imagendary, spoke of his experience working with the students in this program: “It was a nice feeling to inspire kids and show them possibilities in the entertainment world. I was once in their shoes, not knowing that I can make a living from art. I wish I had someone from the entertainment industry to do a presentation like this back when I was lost. So I hope this presentation helps open up directions for future generations.”
Bryant continued “In terms of us giving feedback on their works, I thought it was difficult with the level they are at and in such a short time. Many of the students haven’t attended art schools or college yet so they seemed to not know the fundamentals such as perspective, human anatomy, value, color theories, and more. Fundamentals take years of practice, and there is absolutely no way I can teach those elements in a span of one hour for multiple students. So Instead of me giving them critiques and feedback on these fundamentals, I thought it was more meaningful to encourage them on their work and always be passionate about their ideas and work, because I believe even before learning the basics of drawing, these students need to be confident and passionate about art. Hopefully that was something I wish I got through with these kids.”
David Luong, our Studio’s VFX Cinematic Artist also contributed his time to support this program. David taught the students on a color script and environment design session. He demonstrated different background design perspectives and showed the students many of his design methods . Being an enthusiastic art educator himself, David inspired the young apprentices with his personal stories and journey into the art industry.
Our colleague, Concept Artist Adam Lee also came to support this Character Design program and spent a session helping the students with their first pitch bible practice. Selected students “dress rehearsed” their presentations during the session. Adam provided feedback from a professional angle and shared many pitch techniques.
Throughout the program, our artists addressed specific elements of character design, including topics such as line, body shape, silhouette construction, anatomy, storyboarding, costume/prop design, color scripts, environment/background design and more. At the end of the program, the young apprentices learned to create a fully-realized character. FunPlus and Imagendary Studios guest judges picked the final winner from all works submitted. The final winner went to Jade Rosendo. Details about Jade and their creative thoughts are available on Creative Artworks program website:
Runner up for Best Character Design went to Skyla Abud. Her portfolio is available here:
Creative Art Works
Throughout the program, our artists addressed specific elements of character design, including topics such as line, body shape, silhouette construction, anatomy, storyboarding, costume/prop design, color scripts, environment/background design and more. At the end of the program, the young apprentices learned to create a fully-realized character. FunPlus and Imagendary Studios guest judges picked the final winner from all works submitted. The final winner went to Jade Rosendo.
(Details about Jade and their creative thoughts are available on Creative Artworks program website)
“We feel so honored to be part of the incredible work that Creative Art Works is performing in New York City” said, Wei Wang, Chief Creative Officer of FunPlus, “Last year, all the participants showed impressive talent and tenacity, and we can’t wait to see how this new group of students apply all their learnings in their new projects this spring. It is so inspiring to see these young apprentices unleash their creative potential and who knows, perhaps even discover a calling for a career in games in the future!”
About Creative Art Works
Creative Art Works (“CAW”) is a 35-year-old nonproﬁt that empowers young people through the visual and multimedia arts. CAW’s programs equip children, teens, and young adults with essential tools and skills; connect them with community, academic success and career opportunities; and inspire them to reach for new possibilities.
Working in underserved New York City neighborhoods, CAW provides dynamic, creative youth development for those who would otherwise lack access. Approximately 4,000 young people, ages 4-24, participate in CAW programs every year. Approximately 96% of participants in CAW programs are African American and/or Latino youth in under-resourced communities. Many also endure compounding challenges including illiteracy, recent immigration, justice involvement, foster care, and/or homelessness/transitional housing. These risk factors are all being exacerbated by the global pandemic.
To find out more about the program and young apprentices art works, please visit (https://www.creativeartworks.org/2022-character-design-program)
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