Hey guys. Wow. It's been a long time since I've written on this blog. It was hidden for quite a while. But as you can see, this blog is 7 years old and has been active since 2015.
I wanted to write this blog post to celebrate the new version of my website, but at the same time - to honor the previous version of my website that has served me for so many years.
For the longest time, this website has served to showcase my skills as a concept artist in the entertainment industry, helping me attract clients for video games, movies and theme parks. As of now, this website will serve a new purpose. It will be the home base for "Mr. Chris Art Studio" where it will serve to attract students and parents to my classes.
I would like to take a moment of silence to thank my old website.
Snippets of my old website are still there. Not everything has been changed. Before, I was a Theme Park Designer who taught classes on the side. Now, I am an art teacher who does "Theme Park Design" on the side. The roles have reversed.
Redesigning my website was a huge undertaking. This was a lot harder than I thought.
My design challenges were two-fold.
1) Re-brand myself and tell my story as an art teacher.
2) Optimize the website for mobile.
Telling my story as an art teacher was fairly straightforward. But, redesigning the website for mobile was a lot harder than I thought. It was like solving a sudoku puzzle where everything needs to line up. A lot of my old desktop layout looked TERRIBLE on mobile.
I had to constantly reformat and redesign the layout so it would look good in desktop AND mobile. What I learned was that I needed to create sketches of these "poster ratio" sketches that looked like a mobile phone, and use that for my mobile layout.
Below are some of my process sketches that I created for my website. These sketches were not created all in one go. There was a lot of testing, a lot of failure, a lot of re-thinking and re-planning, until I finally had something I was happy with.
Hope you find this glimpse of my design process interesting. Welcome to my new website.
Welcome to Mr. Chris Art Studio.
Wow long time no post! I just updated my website with new artwork and added some new work experience to my resume. After working full time at an architecture firm for about 2 years - I've decided to return to freelancing again! I've learned so much working a corporate job - but I'm excited to work on some new projects with new clients!
I recently started a new Youtube Channel called Theme Park Arts. The themed entertainment industry is comprised of many art forms: artists, writers, architects, engineers, animatronics, ride and show control, theater etc... There is just so much to learn out there. So everyone month, I would interview a different colleague to ask them a little bit about their job and some of their views on the industry.
You can also follow me on Instagram:
And I also have a Facebook page here:
This March, I took a break from the themed entertainment industry to fulfill my life-long bucket list of traveling through Europe. I would hardly consider it a "vacation" considering how productive I was during my travels. But it was great way to see a different world, have regain a fresh view of how I see my own world at home.
By: Maria Lauro (original article here)
Chris Chien (ID ’10), a concept illustrator who works at Rhetroactive, a global leader in theme parks, museums, retail, food & beverage, hospitality and other location-based entertainment experiences located in California, recently returned to Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design to give a talk for students, sharing with them how he used the methodology he learned at CMU to break into the field.
“The themed entertainment industry is very broad, covering not just amusement parks, but any themed space -- retail, trade shows, hotels, museums and even religious spaces,” said Chien. “There is currently a lot of work, but a lack of awareness of this field.”
Chien broke into the business by conducting in-depth research on the theme park companies he was interested in, as well as their employees. “The important thing is to understand what their ideal job candidate looks like to them,” he said. “Then it's just hard work - becoming that ideal candidate.
“When we did Design Methods Research class at CMU - we would get really personal with our subjects,” he continued. “We would interview them, find out which TV shows they like, how often they walked the dog, we would follow them around, video-record them, have them write in journals, do a bunch of surveys. That's how our professors trained us to do product design research. Understand the customer. Understand their unmet needs. Design a good product.
“The job search equivalent is: Understand the employer,” he added. “Understand their unmet needs. Design yourself to be ideal employee. “
Chien’s thoughts and tips on how to get a job in the art industry are also available on YouTube.
He credits his CMU experience with influencing him “to see how I could make the world a better place.”
“One of my visions is to use my skills in theme park design to better the world,” Chien added. “If I can build a theme park (which is basically a small city), I can also build villages in Africa.
“I think if you are at CMU hard work is actually the easy part,” Chien continued. “Everyone here knows how to work hard. I feel like the really hard part is just thinking critically, understanding what you want to do, and having the faith to just do it even if you don't know if you will succeed.”
While at CMU, Chien did an independent study with faculty member Kristen Hughes focusing on educating inner-city youth about healthy eating habits. “The project itself was a lot of fun and pretty cool because it was really meaningful and influenced me to go beyond what design meant to me,” he said.
Chien recently completed a mural at an orphanage in Guatemala and currently does volunteer art projects with local underprivileged kids. “CMU taught me to use my talents to better the world in some way,” he added.
Chien also encouraged students to seek out all the opportunities CMU offers to have fun during their college years.
“I had a blast at CMU doing all the extra-curriculars,” Chien said. “I had such a great time hanging out with friends and meeting friends of all difficult social, racial, economic backgrounds.” His favorite CMU memories are of participating in the Asian Students Association’s Spring Carnival Booth, which brought him into contact with students who were studying other disciplines including engineering, science and business.
“When people of different backgrounds come together and work together, I think that’s so fulfilling.”
Visit Chris Chien's Website >>
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Hey guys! I recently got permission from Zeitgeist Design and Production to show some of my work for the "Journey to the West" theme park. This concept was for the children's play area of the park. It includes a "Fung Fu Training" area, a Ball Pit, and a "Meet and Greet" with the Peach Fairies.
This concept was pretty cool to do because I am CHINESE - and a lot of the stories - I've known since I was a kid.
Artwork © 2014 eitgeist Design and Production. Used with Permission
Hey guys! This was a super fun series to do! This is just personal work - please excuse the super cheesy names! haha. Each one of these took about 1-1.5 hours. I spent about 1 hour sketching all the concepts. I spent about 30 minutes on research and image gathering, and another 30 minutes to an hour on the actual rendering portion. Because I'm doing a lot of photo textures - it's pretty quick in terms of execution. Nothing too tight.
One of the favorite parts were the logos! I spent a lot of time gather references, the fonts and the color effects. :)
Below is a video of my process!
Yesterday Panasonic hosted a mixer for the Themed Entertainment Association. I was one of the photographers from the event. Panasonic showcased many of their cutting edge projects and products. Very cool!
To learn more about the Themed Entertainment Association - please visit this website.
This week - I had a friend from Taiwan visit to California because he was on a business trip. He wanted to go to Disneyland - so I took him! I was no longer a pass-holder, but I knew a friend who was a cast member - so he graciously signed us in.
My friend from Taiwan was SO EXCITED about EVERYTHING! Having been a Disney cast member and annual pass holder myself - it's easy to get jaded and take for granted all the things we see. As a designer - sometimes, we get too critical and academic when survey these themed attractions - and forget to enjoy the moment and experience reality as a result!
Here are some of my favorite photos I took during our trip. I did my best to really enjoy myself and being in the company of friends. I think as a people - we should make it a priority to focus our energy on creating more experiences with family and friends - not just working on our projects! :)
Hey guys! Just got back from a Themed Entertainment Association Mixer in North Hollywood. This company - GP Color Imaging - hosted a phenomenal mixer! Everything was blacklist - it was like going clubbing! lol The details was awesome. Even the name tags were printed with a thick vinyl like material that glowed the dark under the fluorescent lighting. Experience wise.. 10 out of 10 guys!
CLICK TO SEE -> FULL GALLERY