July 4, 2022


Born to play

San Francisco artist Colin Zhang keeps eyes locked on future | Faces

20220408 Writers and Illustrators of the Future Event

Colin Zhang, of San Francisco by means of China, accepts an award for Illustrators of the Long term, a science fiction art contest.

San Francisco artist Colin Zhang’s most effective instrument is not a pencil or a tablet, but his unwavering surprise at how existence can unfold right before our eyes.

As a kid, Zhang beloved science fiction films so significantly so that he re-produced scenes and figures from the style in his notebooks. This pastime inevitably turned an obsession and then a career — and his visible machinations won the 2021 Illustrators of the Potential science fiction artwork contest.

Born in Chengdu, in the Chinese province of Sichuan, Zhang chose to pursue art at age 10. “I try to remember the initial day, my instructor informed me, ‘Don’t limit your creativity or your creativeness.’ That was the start off of every thing,” claimed Zhang.

The science fiction genre, with its intersection of lifetime and technological know-how, gave Zhang the liberty to express himself simply because, he suggests, “People have no idea wherever we are likely. … Which is the most interesting element. Just on the lookout ahead to the future, it’s the best thing.”

Zhang graduated from Sichuan Regular College with a bachelor of wonderful arts in 2017 and enrolled in graduate college at Academy of Art College in San Francisco shortly thereafter at the suggestion of various professors. He by now experienced a particular desire in the college as a number of alumni went on to get the job done for the “Star Wars” franchise.

While finishing his master’s diploma in visual growth, Zhang held jobs as a video sport developer, an animator and a graphic designer for corporations this kind of as iQIYI, a Chinese on the web video system, and Zing Video games, a activity improvement company. Coursework permitted Zhang to practice illustrating people and creature layouts.

Right after graduating, Zhang states he made the decision to stay in San Francisco since The Metropolis had turn out to be his muse. He has grown accustomed to sourcing inspiration from sculptures, graffiti and something else that catches his eye. Additionally, Zhang claims, “In China, artists can be confined. Occasionally they can’t do whatever they want.”

Zhang’s close friends inspired him to enter the Illustrators of the Upcoming art contest, resulting in the artist’s greatest crack but.

The contest, which names three winners every quarter, is open to artists who have not formerly published a lot more than a few black-and-white story illustrations or additional than 1 course of action-color portray in magazines or books distributed nationally. 

Zhang submitted a few pieces of original, unpublished artwork to a group of judges. The panel consisted of, between other creatives, “Dungeons & Dragons” guide address illustrator Larry Elmore and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” guide storyboard artist Rob Prior.

Following 12 winning illustrators have been named, they were being paired with a successful story from the Writers of the Potential contest for the following element of the levels of competition. Just about every illustrator was specified a thirty day period to comprehensive a finished illustration for a penned function. Zhang was paired with Writers of the Long term contestant Elizabeth Ticknor, who submitted “The Phantom Carnival” for her entry.

Colin Zhang illustrated work

San Francisco artist Colin Zhang illustrated this cover for Elizabeth Ticknor’s limited tale, “The Phantom Carnival.”

Both equally Zhang’s illustration and Ticknor’s story will be posted in the anthology “L. Ron Hubbard Provides Writers of the Long term Volume 38,” which is set to be produced on June 28. Zhang also acquired a weeklong expert artist workshop, a cash prize and a trip to Hollywood to acknowledge his achievements.

He explained the contest and the award ceremony as “a paradise for the illustrators and the writers. They require a place to share their encounters, share their artwork and get guidelines from the far more specialist men and women.”