Interview with Jiao Jiao from United States

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Jiao Jiao

Jiao Jiao is a creative individual whom graduated from Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation that believes in continuously learning and staying on the front of the industry to create meaningful art.

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Jiao Jiao

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

I recently graduated from Gnomon — School of Visual Effects, Games & Animation, a full-time, two-year program designed for students who desire a career as a digital artist in the film, games, or visual effects industries. Prior to attending Gnomon, I also obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Digital 2D animation and cinematic theories from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

After working as a freelance illustrator for a year, I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a different form of art: 3D and CGI. I believe in continuously learning and staying on the front line of the pioneering industry to create meaningful art: “I believe, it is important for an artist to keep an open mind and always stay on the front line and the pioneering industry so that one can able continuously create meaningful art. And by today’s standard, learning 3D is one of the many ways.”

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
In Gnomon, I found my passion in real-time environment art and virtual production which is also a passion inherited from my previous brief study experience in Architecture Design when I had just entered the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ever since the dreadful fire happened in Paris that burned down the Notre-Dame in 2019, I believe now it is our Digital Artists’ Obligation to find a way to keep all those wonderful creations of architecture in the world of data. “Thus, I believe, practicing the art of 3D environment creation is one answer for the future of our society.”
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I recently graduated from Gnomon — School of Visual Effects, Games & Animation, which is a highly regarded institution that provides students with a comprehensive education in the field of digital art. My current focus is on creating new works to gain more exposure and attention from industry professionals and recruiters. I am excited to apply my skills and knowledge in a professional setting and contribute to the success of an innovative and dynamic organization in the visual effects and gaming industry.
4What does “creativity” mean to you?
To me, “creativity” itself is a thinking process that involves both emotional and rational decision-making. And it often requires testing one’s ability of problem-solving and artistic perception. Trying to be creative is a challenge for artists and designers to overcome.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

I believe a "creative" idea or design reflects a deep understanding of human experience and perspective. Creativity involves tapping into our inner selves and generating something original and resonant. However, the successful execution of a creative concept also requires technical mastery and attention to detail, and a certain degree of consideration for the target audience.

Regardless of whether it is being produced by an individual or a team. Ultimately, a creative idea or design combines inspiration and skill to produce something that is both unique and impactful.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
Coming from an institutional art school background, I believe that most successful creative processes can’t be done without thoughtful planning that involves critical thinking and research. Research is always the key element that almost always determines the result of a design process. For most of my design process as a CG artist, I usually start analyzing and doing research for the technical aspect required to achieve the intended dazzling results for the final products. Most importantly, I always try to keep an open mind whenever I start doing a new art project.
7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
My favorite part of the creative process is also one of the vital steps of any artistic creation, which is the research process. As this is the stage that can ensure you fully prepare yourself before diving into the most difficult part. And, if you can do this part right. It also can possibly gain you enough confidence that allows you to support yourself for the following creating progress.
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

During my time as a student, one of the major themes I'd love to bring into my works is "dream of gold". This can be expanded in either the spiritual feeling or the motif of the artworks themselves. As the presence of “gold” in one’s dream can either symbolize the sun or a certain emotional state. And lighting is often one of the key elements that convinces the vibe when it comes to digital photography and CGI rendering. Thus, it has become one of my major studies and practices during my creative processes.

Intentionally or subconsciously, most of the lighting and look development in my environment works has often been given comments such as "surreal" or "dreamlike". Assuredly, I always try to bring a certain sense of ghostly and celestial air into my artworks, to discuss the relationship between players/audiences and environments.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?
Undoubtedly, it does.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
It means a lot to me! As someone who came from a fine art background and entered the realm of CGI art later on, I’m proud to say that my ability is now recognized.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

This piece was my very first ever completed project during my time in Gnomon, therefore I’m deeply attached to it.

"Se son rose, fioriranno", "If they are roses, they will bloom" It's a beautiful quote I accidentally read a long time ago. I found it very empowering to me. And I would love to showcase it to the world to inspire other young artists.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge with this project was definitely the look development. By saying the term “look development”, and for what it stands in the production process of CG, it can be challenging when it requires an artist to make correct decisions on texturing, shading, lighting, and compositing.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
It is an emblem and milestone for my past achievement.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Fast pacing, innovative, entertaining.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
I believe that no one’s creativity should be limited by their background and where they came from. It is true that each one of us is formed by our experiences. Yet, two thing I’m proud of those creative minds in my motherland is their indelible exploration spirt, and the unstoppable but hidden creative desire.
16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
I genuinely hope it will be able to be EVERYWHERE.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Don’t be afraid of being different from your peers in terms of artistic styles. Do the art style you like to do. But make sure it is good to a level as it is supposed to be.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
Search Engine is always your best helper. Self-study is also a vital ability. Be sharp and don’t ever let those free online learning resources slip away!
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
2023 is a really difficult time for our newbies who are trying to break into the entertainment industry. But hey, don’t give up! Never say never!
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
All the great Masters of Literature in this world. As knowledge is the source of creativity and inspiration.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
It’s the same quote that inspired my entry creation this time: Se son rose, fioriranno.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thank you so much for the recognition!

Winning Entry

Se Son Rose Fioriranno | 2023

Se Son Rose Fioriranno
"Se son rose, fioriranno", "If they are roses, they will bloom". Se Son Rose Fioriranno is an experiment on fantasy ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Jiao Jiao

Jiao Jiao is a creative individual whom graduated from Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation that believes in continuously learning and staying on the front of the industry to create meaningful art.

Read more about this interview with Martin Bihl from the United States, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.