VANAS Alumni

Yuuki Koizumi

Concept Art Diploma

Talking to Concept Art teachers directly and hear their thoughts helped me to change how I see the work and life.

Can you tell us a bit of your art background prior to VANAS?

I started my career as a web and graphic designer. I started working in the game industry 9 years ago. Since then, I mainly do UI design, but sometimes I worked on creating small art assets such as icons, thumbnails, items and etc.

What were your motivations to take the program

I was always fascinated by concept art in games and movies. I have been fortunate to work with great artists after I started working in the game industry and I have been always jealous of their art skills. When I found the introduction course, I thought I could just try it out and I really enjoyed the course, so I decided to take this full course after.

How has VANAS helped you?

There are so many things that I got improved. One of the great things is that I had 3 teachers through the course and all of them were working great talented artists. Talking to them directly and hear their thoughts on not only about the art but also the career and how to live as an artist helped me to change how I see the work and life. Even the teachers are still learning and practicing to improve their knowledge and techniques, that made me realize that how I had been lazy as a designer.

Can you mention some A-ha! moments during your education?

It was amazing to see when teachers gave me feedback on my assignment. They spent 10 minutes or so to give me suggestions, but it already looked so much better. This is different from the main topic, but I could also helped to mentor junior people. I always struggle how to mentor junior professionals in the team. The way they taught me helped me to communicate with them better.

How do you compare your art skills before and after VANAS?

It is so much better and for sure, and when I look back my old paintings, I can see that there are so many problems and even when I see the earlier works at the course, they make me want to redesign from the beginning. Also, my painting speed is so much faster. But, I see things that I didn't see before such as anatomy, uniqueness, texture and etc. And now, I try to make different versions to get the best result so I think the time I spent is not so much different.

When I found the introduction course, I thought I could just try it out and I really enjoyed the course, so I decided to take this full course after.

What is your favourite class/topic? (why?)

Creature class was my favorite. I used to like the environment design the most and I hadn't done many characters or creature design before going to VANAS. I didn't think I would love creature design so much, but I really enjoyed those classes as I could go beyond normal and add whatever I want to. I could spend many hours without getting tired.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I thought it might have been harder to take the course as I have a job and finding time to study is one of my concern. But I could prioritize the assignment with anything other and focus on concept art. I am now glad I did as I can see that my skill got better and better in each class. Now I know the secret of becoming a better artist is keep studying. I am looking forward to developing my art skill day by day for whole my life.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Learn more about our program:
Concept Art Diploma USA