Monday, 8 September 2014

Artist Spotlight - Bobby Chiu

I though I'd start a little series here on my blog putting the spotlight on some of my fellow artists. These artists will be people who have inspired me in one way or another either through their art, personality, advice or some other way. They will call from all fields of the art industry whether that be illustration, concept art, animation, photography, authors plus many more.

So, who to choose for my first artist in the spotlight? Well, I felt I had to choose the person who first introduced me to the notion that I could make a career through creating art digitally.....Mr Bobby Chiu. Bobby will be familiar to many of you who are reading this and I am sure he has inspired you in one way or another.

Artist Spotlight - Bobby Chiu -

Early Life

Bobby is an independent artist who grew up in Toronto, Canada, and he still lives there today. He spent his childhood constantly drawing and learning as much as he could about art, including painting and Chinese watercolor. He went on to study classical and computer animation at Sheridan College.


He started his artistic career at 17 years old designing licensed toys for Disney and Warner Bros. and Starwars amongst many other clients. Whist he enjoyed this job and speaks well of the company he worked for at this time, Bobby decided he wanted to take more control of his career and life in general.

Imaginism Studios 

On March 9, 2005, Bobby opened Imaginism Studios with his then girlfriend (now wife) Kei Acedera, who incidentally is another wonderful illustrator and character designer. Based in Toronto, Imaginism specializie in pre-production character and concept design for film, TV, gaming, and publishing. Over the last 9 years they have designed and illustrated for major companies such as Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, Dreamworks.....and the list goes on! Their worst became familia to millions when they did the character designs for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Imaginism Stusios also run a 30-day in-house Workshop giving selected candidates the opportunity to become "personal apprentices" to some of the top talent in the art industry. The theory behind these workshops is simply to "learn by doing".

Over the years Bobby has made it his mission to inspire, educate, and entertain other creative people and encourage people to live a creative life. This is how Bobby came to my attention. He is known for his "Chiustreams" where he paints live online, taking questions and giving advice for anyone who he can help. I can't tell you how many I have tuned into and I always come away from them super inspired!


Just as Bobby was quick to notice in the early days of digital art, that it would be the future, he also realised that learning art online would become more and more popular. He created Schoolism which provides online courses in various forms of art from well-known professionals responsible for your favorite films, TV shows, comics, and paintings, including Stephen Silver, Alex Woo, Louis Gonzales and Sam Nielson.

Over recent years, the team at Schoolism have run Schoolism LIVE. These events are held in Montreal, San Fransisco, London and Berlin and are intended to bring together some of the best talent in the industries of feature animation, gaming, illustration, and design in an intensely focused weekend of workshops.

Niko and the Sword of Light 

Bobby's latest project is Niko and the Sword of Light, a fully animated digital comic. The story follows Niko, a boy who finds himself alone in a savage land with only one relic remaining, the Sword of Light. We follow his story of returning to his land of freedom. Amazon have now picked up the comic and I personally can't wait for it's release.

I'd like to use this blogpost as a chance to say a personal thank you from myself to Bobby for all the work he has done for the community. I am sure these thoughts are echoed my many other people throughout the art community.

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