Bobby Chiu is an independent artist who lives in Toronto (Canada). He creates art books full of amazing digital art designs. He is also a teacher of digital art at Sheridan College and online at Schoolism.com.
He is the co-owner of Imaginism Studios with his partner Kei Acedera. He has produced an astonishing amount of work over the years.
Bobby Chiu’s career started when he was just 17 years of age when he began designing toys for Star Wars, Disney and Pixar. He studied at Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. His subjects were painting and the art of classical animation and the upcoming genre of computer animation which led to digital drawing and animation.
Bobby has worked on the concepts for many television shows and movies and has produced the cover for Painting in Sketchbook Pro 6. He has produced tutorials on digital art including Fictional Highlights and Scales which shows the upcoming digital painter how to create highlights and wonderful scaly skin for their fictional creatures.
There is also a wonderful tutorial on how he created Early Bloom, the magical creature that has blossoming branches on his head and a chubby body with green stripes and a very appealing and warm smile, make this creature one of my favourites. This image can be seen on the cover of ImagineFX magazine.
There are also many video casts and podcasts in which he talks about his random thoughts on success and his art while creating a drawing in front of your eyes. The drawings have been speeded up to last the time of Bobby’s talk, as some may take many hours to complete.
Many of Bobby’s characters are creatures that are fantastical and quirky and often appear to be made from 2 other equally fantastic creatures. His favourite themes to explore for these creatures include irony, the art of disguise and a creature’s dual personality. Not all creatures are purely animal as he often includes items that are outside the realm of animals. His “Catbus” is one such magical creation.
Some of his amazing characters can be seen in Tim Burton’s 2008 classic Alice in Wonderland and most recently in the third instalment of the Men in Black series.
This is a collection of independent artists who work on children’s books and in the pre-production area of animated films. Work has been completed on films by Sony Imageworks, Disney, Pixar Dreamworks, Universal studios and Columbia Pictures. The artists here specialise in producing concept designs that are upbeat and fun, sometimes whimsical and sometimes dark and moody.
Schoolism is an online teaching program whose catchphrase is “Education Evolved”. There are several tutorials on at any one time.
Kei Acedera is Bobby’s partner in Imaginism studios. She is the art director and co-owner with Bobby. Kei’s characters tend to the whimsical and beautiful designs that can be seen in children’s books produced by publishing company Harper Collins. Her work has been described as “appealing and versatile”. Her art can be seen in several books including How to talk to Girls (2008), How to talk to Santa (2009), Rules for school (2010) and Liesel and Po (2012).
Bobby has said that art is his saviour and gives him freedom other things don’t. He can sleep whenever he wants to, wake up anytime and do what he wants to do all day long. Only art can give you a lifestyle like this.
He has said his lifestyle is like that of a retired person as he is doing what he wants to do, not what he has to do.
Many people would say that Bobby Chiu has had a lot of luck in his artistic career and Bobby would agree with you because it takes a certain amount of luck to become a success at your endeavours. Bobby has said that in order to be successful you need to have done the hard work and suffered some degree of failure. This gives you the impetus to get back up again and try harder to achieve your goal. The more of your work that you put out in the public domain the greater chance you have of being seen and you will eventually be lucky and be seen by the people who can advance your career to where you want it to be.
Bobby will stay up all night to finish a work if he feels he is able to as there is no point in working and making yourself sick and being unable to work afterwards due to ill health.
Bobby has produced many books full of his and Kei’s amazing art work. Titles include
- The Perfect Bait (2010) on how to be a successful artist
- Chiutensity (2010)that contains art never seen in books before
- Water worlds (2008) that is a submarine adventure into the watery depths of our oceans with wonderful fish and beautiful mermaids
- Dragon Sketches (2007) containing dragons of all types including happy, angry, robotic and baby dragons
- Subway Sketches (2007) of all the people seen on the subway
- Ancient Japan Sketches (2006) geisha girls, samurai and all sorts of Japanese mythical characters
- Fairy Sketches (2006) full of amazingly beautiful fairies
- Creature sketches (2006( showing a full array of amazing and wonderful creatures
- Guy sketches (2006) a book full of men of all shapes and sizes
- Cats and Dogs (2005) an amazing compendium of animals
- Girls sketches (2005) a book full of women of all sorts
- Art of Bob (2005) this publication was limited to 40 handmade numbered copies
Bobby Chiu’s work is as diverse as it is wonderful. You can’t help but be transported to his world of fun and imagination when looking at his works. Some are light and airy others deep and slightly troubling but overall they are a joy to see. They give us an almost childlike view of our world full of friendly faces and warm fuzzy creatures with the occasional fright at a grizzly creation.