Articles > The Art of Feng Zhu
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One of the most important roles in the pre- roduction stage is that of the concept artist, the ones who breathe life into a script, visualizes the ideas, and conveys style and meaning.
To see a film or game concept to fruition is an amazing process, from a script through to rolling credits, it is the pre-production work that also gets the least amount of recognition. One of the most important roles in the pre-production stage is that of the concept artist, the ones who breathe life into a script, visualizes the ideas, and conveys style and meaning which in turn allows directors a chance to envisage what will become.

With illustrations as captivating and exquisitely rendered as Feng Zhu’s, it’s easy enough to bypass the fact that Feng only uses a minimal amount of CG in his work and is all hand rendered, apart from using Photoshop for touch-ups. Specializing in pen, marker and ink to construct his detailed imagery, we here at CGNetworks felt that his work justified coverage to celebrate the art of Feng Zhu. Feng, a talented industrial designer/illustrator and concept artist hailing from Los Angeles has built a reputation for himself over the years and it’s easy to see why, as any lover of art, design, illustration or comic book art can be enthralled by every detailed stroke that Feng renders.

The early years
Feng’s background is almost typical. In his youth he loved movies and video games, “As a kid, I always had a strong interest in films and video games. My parents were pretty supportive of me, so as long as I kept my grades up, I could play games and watch movies whenever." In support of his favorite movies and computer games, Feng would recreate the sequences, "The only way for me to 're-live' the movies I loved was to sketch them. I did this all through junior high and high school and eventually took it more seriously. In 1995, I decided to enroll full-time at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California."

Working on the Ranch
After completing college with a major in Product Design and a minor in Entertainment Design, Feng landed his first job as a concept artist for Origin Systems in Austin, Texas. After a year working, Feng missed L.A and returned home and worked for Blur Studios in late 2000, "Since Blur worked on all sorts of projects ranging from game cinematics to TV commercials, I had a lot of fun designing from one project to another." The wide range of experiences that Feng developed at Blur Studios allowed him to freelance his skills, so when LucasFilm was hiring artists for Star Wars: Episode 3, Feng jumped at the chance. "Being a huge Star Wars fan, I immediately sent out a sample portfolio. Shortly after, I began freelancing for them and after a month I moved up to Marin County and joined the Star Wars art department full time at Skywalker Ranch. I worked with some of the most talented artists and designers while at the Ranch. It was a once in a life time experience." After working on Star Wars: Episode 3 for a year, Feng returned to L.A, "I'm currently freelancing for various studios and working on my personal project. One of the projects I'm currently on is Duke 'Nukem Forever' for 3D Realms."

".. I moved up to Marin County and joined the Star Wars art department full time at Skywalker Ranch. I worked with some of the most talented artists and designers while at the Ranch. It was a once in a life time experience."

 
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