College for Creative Studies: Illustration
Video games praised by parents? Kevin Chin is one of the senior concept artists working at KingsIsle Entertainment, the company behind popular online games Wizard 101 and Pirate 101 that have received awards from the National Parenting Publication, Beckett Massive Online Gamer Magazine, Massively.com and MMORPG.com.
“What I like most about my career currently is that the studio I work at right now is very stable and normal paced,” said Chin. “It's very family friendly and gives back to charity. We recently fulfilled a Make-A-Wish kid’s dream of visiting his favorite game studio.
“My position also gives me time to work on my own art and focus on other aspects of my personal life, which is rare in this industry of 12 hour crunch days. I've actually started selling some prints of my personal work on various online stores like Storenvy and Bigcartel.”
Prior to his career at KingsIsle, Chin contributed to several video games based on major blockbuster films and most-watched television shows, including Disney Epic Mickey 2, Napoleon Dynamite, Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow and Sopranos: Road to Respect.
“With each project, I gradually learned more and more about not only the game industry but the ‘movie’ game industry and its limited production time, which can sometimes be challenging,” said Chin. “My Disney Epic Mickey 2 artwork was featured on conceptartworld.com. Working on that game was a great experience and a fun opportunity to be a part of Mickey history.”
The artist’s journey into the video game/entertainment industry began toward the end of his junior year in the illustration program.
“I discovered the entertainment industry was an available job field for my skills and interests,” Chin said. “I had befriended a handful of talented upper classmates determined to break into the entertainment industry and followed suit.
“We knew we would need to expand our knowledge and skills in areas outside of traditional illustration, so we took additional courses in industrial design and animation. My classmates, along with instructors such as Mike Mikos, Dave Chow, and Ben Ridgway, gave me invaluable advice and insight on what to expect in the industry.
“Alumni Marc Gabbana and Jay Shuster, both working in Hollywood as film concept artists, also made return visits to give presentations of their work. Learning from their experiences really helped guide those of us pursuing this profession.”
When Chin is not busy at KingsIsle, he freelances as an illustrator. He has created images for the "World of Warcraft Collectible Card Game" by Upper Deck and “Warhammer 40K" products by Fantasy Flight Games.