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Lynn Hye Ryoung Yang: concept artist interview

Lynn Hye Ryuong Yang

Concept Artist

Concept artist and matte painter Lynn Hye Ryoung Yang shares amazing work from her portfolio, workflow, and talks about adding life to her scenes with characters…

Lynn's Profile

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Lynn Hye

I’m a concept artist and matte painter, and I graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 2012. I began my career at Rhythm and Hues and worked as a freelancer for about 5 years and moved to Seattle. I worked at Microsoft for HoloLens in 2015. I’m currently in Washington DC working at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as a concept artist for an advancement donor project, while doing freelance work. I do concept art, matte painting, and storyboards. My biggest passion is in illustration and I am always learning and practicing, painting both digitally and traditionally.

Adam

What was the workflow behind your latest artwork? Where did the idea come from?

Lynn Hye

For this piece, the workflow was a little different from other pieces I’ve done. I first used Terragen to render a sky that I had in mind, and then brought it to Photoshop to paint a general colour on top of it, and lighting that I was able to achieve quickly. After finding some ideas about sets of colours I liked, I tried to play with the compositions as much as possible for better eye flow in the scene. Then I quickly laid in some large objects with big brush strokes, and then went into details.

Adam

What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?

Lynn Hye

Painting characters into a scene was challenging but a lot of fun, and a big eye opener for me. I wanted to deliver some hint of stories and actions. I have a hard time dealing with characters and I think I was able to just break my comfort zone after finishing this piece, taking a small step towards better scene illustration. Laying even one stroke caused another compositional problem as I wanted to put a lot of information in the scene. I asked myself many questions, and tried not to lose my 3rd point perspective, but it was challenging because it’s just never ending questions.

Adam

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Lynn Hye

Nowadays, I like using World Machine and Terragen. Initially, I was building new sets of portfolio work for 3D terrain and skybox, but I like using it for a quick layout of landscapes to paint on top of.

I do a lot of scrap work that is never going to be finished, but it’s something that makes me rethink my process.

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Lynn Hye

As an artist, keeping a certain mileage of doing anything related to art helps a lot. Even if it’s something that is not finished or polished, or just looking at other artist’s work, there is a certain mileage that just keeps piling up. This is probably what every other artist also tries to do as well, and I feel like that I do a lot of scrap work that is never going to be finished, but it’s something that makes me rethink my process.

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Lynn Hye

As a person who started learning art kind of late, it is extremely important as I feel like all my other artist friends are very advanced with more experience. They give me so much great feedback and many ideas, and they have different perspectives. There are so many different paths for artists and hearing their unique career path and stories gives me the courage to try something new in my own career.

Adam

Who are your favourite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Lynn Hye

I have admired so many artists but here are those that led me to art since my teenage years: Alan Lee, Miyazaki Hayao, NC Wyeth and Oga Kazuo. I grew up watching Lord of the Rings and Ghibli movies. LOTR has influenced me and I wanted to study art when looking at Alan Lee’s drawings and illustrations. It was amazing to see how his drawings and designs were translated into films.

His work taught me that there are jobs in the film industry for artists when I did not know anything about art or the industry. I remember watching the first film out of the trilogy and I did not understand most of the language at that time but it was amazing.

I love films that are heavily combined with art and appreciate the amount of effort that artists put into them. Miyazaki Hayao is someone who can illustrate, storyboard, and produce, combining all these skills into a film. I look up to his process in filmmaking, and Oga Kazuo’s beautiful illustrations.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Lynn Hye

To get better in my art. I am sure that’s every artist’s passion. But I want to be able to express my ideas as well as possible with art since I am not a very good writer. There is a personal project that I have been working on that I wish to make into an animated feature one day. I feel like that would be my dream job; to be able to produce an animated film, since it is a way to tell a story with so many flexibilities in style, music, and technology. Or even with a simple form of drawing you can deliver good stories.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Lynn Hye

More personal work. I am always trying different processes and techniques, and I will probably show a lot of random work when I feel like it’s presentable.