LIGHTBOX EXPO 2019 - INTERVIEW with SCHOOLISM'S BOBBY CHIU
BOBBY CHIU is AMAZINGLY TALENTED. His art has inspired some of DIRECTORS of TV/FILM. He is a PRODUCER of an ANIMATED TV SHOW from AMAZON PRIME. And he has foundedSCHOOLISM, the renowned affordable online art education website.
Now, he is creating what could be the COMICON for ARTISTS (I mean, SDCC has been more about films the past few years) - calledLIGHTBOX EXPO! Saturday AM has heard about and been inspired by him and NOW we’re honored to INTERVIEW HIM on the EVE of the INAUGURAL LIGHTBOX EXPO 2019.
Saturday AM: How did you and Jim Demonakos come up with the idea of doing LightBox Expo?
Bobby Chiu: I am an artist myself and we are both big admirers and advocates for the art community. We both felt that there are so many movies, games, stories that’s so many of us are fans of yet do not know the artist that created those designs or illustrations. We just felt like there was a great mission there to make an event where people can come and meet the artist behind their favorite movies, games, animation, and illustration.
Saturday AM: What are the Panel Discussions that you are most excited for this weekend?
Bobby Chiu: There’s too many to choose from! Where do I begin…? There’s, of course, the Keynote or the marvel studios artist panel or perhaps the drawing sessions with a real wolf, eagle or turkey vulture. There are presentations from some of the biggest studios like Sony, Netflix, Disney, Pixar, Weta Workshop and many more. I think if I had to choose, I would pick the demos. There is so much to be learned when watching a master at work.
Saturday AM: What made you decide to pursue art as a career vs other professions that could be considered more financially stable?
Bobby Chiu: Actually, I tried to pursue business when I was in college but I ended up drawing all the time and not paying attention in class. I even remember painting a cat with pastels for my accounting exam, handing it in and leaving. Once I learned that you CAN have a great living working as an artist for various entertainment industries, that was it. I was hooked.
Saturday AM: For some people, it seems that many professional artists on social media have a particular identity. Fanart, anime or cartoon style, gender/ race swaps are all very popular tropes on social media platforms. What are your thoughts about an Artist having to develop a unique look or "art style" in a competitive industry?
Bobby Chiu: I think it’s one of those things that if you’re true to yourself and what you truly love to draw and paint, you won’t have to worry about being unique. When you take all the bits and pieces about life that you love to draw your art will speak about you as a person and as a person you are a unique individual. Honesty is the fastest way of creating an awesome identity.
Saturday AM: Instagram has emerged as one of the largest showcases for Artists but they're not at the event. What do you make of social platforms (vs. artist-specific websites to showcase their online portfolios) for artist exposure?
Bobby Chiu: I think social media has helped out Artists tremendously. It’s created a bridge to a wider audience for so many that would otherwise be unknown.
Saturday AM: Do you have an upcoming project that you are excited about?
Bobby Chiu: The show I helped create, Niko and the Sword of Light will premiere its second half of Season 2 on the opening day of LightBox Expo! There’s a few more… But I can’t talk about them at this moment.
Saturday AM: Was it always the plan to involve Video Games, Animation, TV/FILM, and/or comics as the main areas for the artists to engage with the show? Was Music ever considered or Youtube?
Bobby Chiu: This was always the plan to involve video games, animation, TV, movies, and Illustration to the show but we also have some truly great YouTubers like Proko and Ross Tran at the event.
Saturday AM: What words of wisdom can you give to people who want to be successful artists?
Bobby Chiu: Now more than ever, if you learn enough, the whole world has no choice but to notice you.
Saturday AM: What would you say to artists who constantly struggle with whether they have the time to draw or even believe their art isn't good enough?
Bobby Chiu: Kind of like working out in the gym, if we can learn to enjoy the struggle, you’ll go very far and those early memories will be some of your fondest when you're successful.