TechVidPlay is proud to share an interview we had with one of the most talented upcoming comic book artists Kael Ngu. This amazing artist is recognized for his store variants and in the last year alone has done one of the most amazing variants covers for DC Comics.
Who is Kael Ngu?
– Kael Ngu is a freelance illustrator from Malaysia, who started his professional career doing card game illustrations and concept art for a local game studio. Today, Kael is creating many cover arts for various publishers as well as original arts for private collectors from all over the world. He has so far worked for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Valiant Comics, Dynamite Comics, and Ablaze Publishing, just to name a few.
When was the first time you got exposed to a comic book or artwork?
I can’t really remember which is the first American comic book I bought, it’s either Dark Avengers by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato, or Batman: Hush Unwrapped Deluxe Edition by writer Jeph Loeb, and artist Jim Lee.
These two are the very first collected edition I bought sometime when I got into college…which is around 2010. I do remember admiring master Mike Deodato’s works in deviantART, an online art platform that time, and got me hooked into heavy inking for a while.
What made you decide to do this for a living and, if possible, tell us how did your family react to your choice?
Initially, I started doing concept art for games, only about 4 years ago that I completely switched to work in the comic book industry as a cover artist. Mainly because I feel there’s a lot of love from the community for comic related artworks that I do for fun. My family has been super supportive of whatever I do, and I’m very grateful. I’ve been drawing since childhood and they knew this is what I do best!
Did you attend an institution or took a course to master your skills, if so, which one?
I attended an art college called The One Academy in Malaysia, so I studied some fundamentals in drawing for the first year. For the second and third year, I took a different course – Digital Animation – to widen my range of knowledge and skills and I learned how to model and sculpt in 3D. Learning 3D definitely helped a lot in my drawing technique as I’m thinking in 3 dimensional whenever I draw and understand the subject, form, and space better.
As an art and comic book reader/collector I must say, you have an amazing style, it really takes comic book art to another level. Who was your inspiration in this type of art form?
I’d say master JC Leyendecker, and modern digital artist Dean Holdeen – played an important role in shaping my current art style. I love stylized edges and cool shapes and you can see that through both of their pieces!
Who is your favorite artist?
I idolized many artists and each of them taught me different stuff! Traditional masters such as JC Leyendecker, Situ Mian, or Frank Frazetta are some that I look at, every day. Or modern comic book artists like Sean Murphy, Olivier Coipel, Jay Anacleto, Greg Capullo, or David Finch. Or even digital artists – Piotr Jabłoński and Sergey Kolesov! The list can keep on going and I can never name a single one as a primary inspiration. Ha!
When was the first time you felt you accomplish your dream of becoming an artist?
I think that’s when I got my first full-time job at Passion Republic in 2013, as a concept artist in the game industry. It’s my first working experience as an artist, and I won’t have to depend on my parents anymore for money to buy books! Haha!
What was your first official art in a comic book?
The very first published art should be DC’s Justice League #1 and G.I.Joe #252, both a retailer exclusive variant for Comic Market Street in 2018
What is your goal in this industry?
Publish my own comic book. Maybe I’m just the writer, or maybe I’m both the writer and the artist, or maybe I’m just the artist. But the goal is, I definitely want to self-publish one day 😀
What advice can you give to those young artists who pursue their dreams of becoming a comic book artist or illustrator?
Take it slowly. I’ve seen more and more artists popping out these days, all super talented but most of them lack the patience. Everyone wants it quick. Quickly finishes a piece of art, quickly publishes it on social media, quickly gets fame, and quickly gets noticed by publishers. I’m almost the same back then, but if I can do it again, I’ll take it slowly and further solidify and sharpen my skills before I step into the scene. That way, I can take the scene with a bang! Ha!
Which projects are you currently working on now, and what can we expect of Kael Ngu in the future?
Spend more money on me! :p Haha at the moment I’m working on more comic covers for sure. Apart from that, I’m going to finish up my first big interior project with a French publisher this year, and currently working on a personal art book project with a good friend. I’m keeping myself very busy!
Where can our followers find your work most often?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Artstation!
Aaaand that’s it!
Much appreciated good sir.