Category Archives: Blogging

From lost Intern to full time studio manager in 9 months.

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Early last year, we decided to get an intern to help us all out at the studio. After we put out a call on Instagram, we had a few inquiries but one stood out and it was from a UBC Sauder business student named Aiken Lao. Although she was a business student from UBC, she had a real strong interest for creativity. She was a rare breed. A business student with a visual arts portfolio, showcasing her illustration, photography and design work. The diversity in her work made her an ideal candidate as she was able to help all three of us out at the studio. With Hubert Kang, a photographer, Annie Chen, a surface designer and myself an illustrator and art director. She was a rising triple threat with an opportunity to be able to sample all three disciplines under one roof. It’s sort of like getting whisky flights but for jobs without the hangover.

Over the course of just a few months, Aiken proved to be a real asset at the studio by helping out on photoshoots, painting murals, drawing storyboards, designing logos, researching visual references, attending client meetings and even taking the most detailed notes in lightning speed. It wasn’t long before we decided to raise her rates for the remainder of the year until she graduated in December of 2018.

Interestingly, Aiken’s parents were never a fan of the idea of her pursuing a creative career. Although she initially applied to Emily Carr, she ultimately chose UBC’s Sauder School of Business to please her parents. Fast forward to post-graduation, Hubert Kang, and I decided to offer her a one-year full-time contract gig at the studio to become our Studio Manager. She now oversees our projects, manages our workflow and helping out with a variety of tasks such as running the retail store and doing actual work like drawing storyboards, designing logos, painting murals and much more.

When Aiken first started, she had no clue how the creative community worked but she’s now a little less lost (we hope) and is now convinced that artists don’t need to fit the ‘starving artist’ stereotype to make a creative career work. Personally, I was lucky enough to kick start my own career in advertising as an art director for almost 2 decades which helped me get exposed to countless artists, musicians, photographers, animators, writers and more. Over this time, I saw budgets, managed artists, supervised shoots, managed creative teams, worked with countless directors on tv shoots and it was through this experience that I learned how to now run my own art and design studio.

Knowing how many young and talented creative folks are out there trying to break into the business but unsure how to, I hope this little blog post will help shed some light into your career path. Read More »

2019 Applied Arts Photography & Illustration Awards Winning Entries.

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We’re a little late to announce but we’re thrilled to have three of our projects selected as winners for this year’s Applied Arts Photography and Illustration Awards. Both of these projects we worked on for Kabam and Deloitte are hands down one of our top 10 favourite projects of 2018. Super happy that both of these projects got selected as winners. We have a total of 3 awards this year.

I-017: Mega Marvel Mural [IL/10 Corporate Illustration – Single]
I-020: Mega Marvel [IL/11 Corporate Illustration – Series]
I-021: Wonderful World Of Discovery [IL/11 Corporate Illustration – Series]

Here are the winning entries. Read More »

Hong Kong Sketch Book Diaries. The Black Ink Series.

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Here’s a quick and small black ink series of Hong Kong. We’ve been here for almost 2 months now but it really feels like we just arrived last week. There’s just so much to do here! Hong Kong is seriously an incredible city. So vibrant and rich with culture, arts tech and more. You can be in central surrounded by the hippest cafes and restaurants and then you can be literally in another world within 15-20 min. by boat to a quiet fishing village (more on that in another post). We feel like we’ve only seen 1% of HK during this entire time here.

We’re here until the 27th and then we’ll be back in Vancouver to jump back into the thick of it. If you need immediate assistance with any current projects with us, please contact our incredible Studio Manager, Aiken. She’ll sort you out. Thanks for reading our blog.

Follow our journey on IG.

Short listed! Communications Arts Illustration 2019 short list announced.

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Every year we enter the prestigious Communication Arts illustration competition for the work we proudly handcraft and create in our Vancouver studio in hopes to be recognized among the best in the world. Out of over 3940 entries submitted, only 934 entries were shortlisted. 2 our entries were shortlisted out of only 3 submissions. Congratulations to everyone that got on the list. Final winners will be announced by Feb 8th.

Illustrators do warm-ups by sketching like athletes doing warm-ups by stretching.

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Illustrators do warm-ups by sketching like athletes doing warm-ups by stretching.

Much like athletes, illustrators need to do warm-ups that act like training exercises by doing quick illustrations for fun. It helps loosen fingers, the wrist and more importantly, the mind.

Did this quick sketch before tackling a commercial project in Hong Kong. This piece is based on a photo I took with my Google Pixel while in Causeway Bay. I ABSOLUTELY love drawing with this pental brush pen. Nothing beats the feeling of an old school brush pen hitting on Moleskine paper.

Follow our adventures in Hong Kong through our IG channel. We’re here until the end of Feb.

Peeking over peaks on Hong Kong island.

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Sometimes I pinch myself because I still can’t believe this is my temporary office view in Hong Kong. Caught today’s magic hour (with my trusty old Nikon D600 and Nikkor 50mm F1.8) as I was catching up with emails. Been working and living here since Jan 7th and it seems like there’s no end to exploring new things on this tiny Hong Kong island. We’ll be meeting the good folks at Ogilvy & Mather this Thursday.

Follow our adventures on IG.

Excited to be back in Hong Kong to explore and connect.

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We’re excited to be back again in Hong Kong. We’ve been back for over a week now and have finally settled in and beat our jet lag. We’re here until Feb 27th and really looking forward to reconnecting with our contacts at ad agencies and design firms like Pill and Pillow. If you’d like to reach out and connect with us while we’re here, our local number is 6689 3640 for Carson and 5663 7828 for Denise.

For all image maker nerds reading this, the illustration was shot last night on our Nikon D600 and Nikkor 50mm F1.8. Shot at F7.1 ISO 640 with an exposure time of 2.5 secs. We brought minimal gear this time with only two 50mm. One being F1.4 Non-ai and F1.8. The monster bunny was illustrated on the iPad Pro’s Procreate app.

For all your other project inquiries while we’re away, or if you have any studio needs, feel free to hit up our Studio Manager extraordinaire Aiken. Her email is aiken at chairmanting.com She’s holding the fort down in Vancouver. Studio hours are Mon-Friday 10am – 6pm. However, she will also be away from Jan 28-Feb 12th to vacation in Shanghai.