Yanmo Zhang, a core gamer, illustrator & concept artist who was born in 1990 a​nd started painting since 1999. He grew up in a small town of China, a beautiful corner of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. In most time of childhood he was painting with chalks everywhere. At that time, he also loved seal cutting and writing, but unfortunately both of them just ain't as far along his career path in future.

Yanmo graduated from The Affiliated High School of The China Academy of Art in 2008 and then studied at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Oil Painting for three years. In 2011, Yanmo decided to drop out of his university and went to Beijing to follow his dream, studied Concept Design in Beijing Huatian School. Since then, he began to focus on the CG art area.

At age of twenty-one, Yanmo began working as an game artist in Beijing. Three years later he moved back to Suzhou to be a freelance artist. During his freelance time Yanmo did lots pieces of artwork around Blizzard Entertainment games. The most impressed thing he did is the Impression Artwork of Warcraft Movie Trailer, it even retweeted by Duncan Jones, director of WarcraftIn addition, he worked for many different game companies and publishing presses, such as Cryptozoic Entertainment, ​​​The Zharmae Publishing Press(TZZP), NetEase, InKarnate Entertainment, FireScale Studios and so on. 

Now, Yanmo is working as an Associate Art Director at Riot Games Hong Kong & Singapore StudioCheck out my LinkedIn for more details.

After painting, he also likes reading, drinking, playing games, traveling, watching films, making new friends, and collecting odd treasures.

Homepage   〉  BIO

Why you quit college in Grade 4?

Well, it was a frustrated experience to me in colleague back to 2009. The first time I knew digital art was around 2009. Since then, there was a conflict feeling raised up in my mind. I didn't see my future in fine art and was not allowed to fully focused on digital art.

I didn't know what to do for 2 years. To escape, I spent the most time in PC bar during that period, playing games, but also invested a lot of time on learning and practicing video making,dubbing, digital art, and graphic design by myself. They all became precious treasures to me in my future career.

In mid 2011, I met a teach named Ahua, He taught me how to make decisions for facing the unknown future. He didn't tell me what to do but offered me a good mindset. I was enlightened all of a sudden in that month and immediately made the decision to drop out to follow my dream, and I successfully got my first job in gaming industry after 2 months.

However, I don't encourage people to do the same thing blindly. Becuase it's a very important decision to make and it will impact the whole life. But luckily, I made my right bet.


What's your advice to young artists?

Always be brave, don't worry about painting anything wrong. Painting is for solving problems, not for repeating the things you are good at.

Keep breaking your comfort zone and don't limit by the rules you've known. Stay curious, stay humble. Review your own work and try to analyze where you need to improve. More importantly, always compare with yourself, if you can get a little bit improvement in each time, you will get a significant improvement in several years!

How did you get into Riot?

After I back from Beijing, the two years of freelancer experience really helped me to develop my language skill and the ability to collaborate with foreign co-workers. Akso, I often post my work online and I encourage you to do so as well becuase it can help you to get more people to know your work.

I have played lots of games since I was a kid. RPG games, sandbox games, strategy games, RTS games, and this's exactly what Riot is looking for, people who understands, loves, and cares about games, and be able to create visuall with a developer mindset.