Malaysian artist Yi Chong cannot keep pets in his apartment, but he wants so much to have a four-legged friend! Therefore, a man creates adorable fluffy animals on a computer and puts them in real everyday situations. His "fantastic creatures" are very popular with Internet users all over the world. Digital pets look so realistic that they just feel like grabbing and hugging them.
- It is not allowed to keep pets in the apartment where I live. Because of this prohibition, I can only afford to have an imaginary, virtual friend, says Yee.
At first, the young man's experiment began simply as a training in drawing realistic characters, and he did it exclusively for himself, honing his skills. However, people on the Internet liked the creatures Chong had invented and drawn so much that he ended up with a whole imaginary and at the same time very realistic world.
The artist places his characters in a variety of everyday situations, which creates the illusion that these furry friends are actually living with him. Among the artist's virtual pets, there is one permanent character who, apparently, especially fell in love with him, and he can be safely called Yi's four-legged friend. This is a little fox cub named Silverfox by the author. The virtual pet is resting, lounging on the computer keyboard, it gets into the owner's suitcase or gets stuck in the sleeve of the owner's jumper, the fox has to endure when the owner dries his hair with a hairdryer after bathing. In general, the animal does everything that real pets in city apartments usually do - cats and dogs. Moreover, the artist humanized his four-legged friend so much that he is capable of very subtle emotions - for example, in some photographs Silverfox is so sad that tears are rolling from his eyes.
Chong explains that his characters are inspired by the work of his favorite Japanese artist Ovopaka (real name Ryota Murayama), who draws furries, an anime-style anthropomorphic animal. One of the famous characters in Ovopak is the domestic fox cub.
Chong describes his own style as follows:
- This is something between realism and "cartoony". And I came to him after long, many years of experimentation with several styles (shading cells, painting, watercolor, etc.). As a result, I managed to find something of my own, and this style most accurately reflects my artistic vision.
Chong creates each virtual friend for about two hours - the duration of the work depends on the complexity of the character. This whole process includes several stages: first, Yi comes up with an idea, then takes photographs of the "interior", then he makes a sketch over the photograph and at the final stage draws the animal using Photoshop.
Chong used to work as a graphic designer for ten years and is now a freelance illustrator. And although this activity is interesting and creative, the artist notes that it is very difficult for him to balance two types of activities - work for money and the hobby of creating virtual animals. "It's important not to burn out here!" Yee notes.To do this, the artist clearly plans every day and tries to strictly adhere to the drawn up schedule.
Yi Chong already has over one and a half hundred followers on Instagram who are in love with his work. And this is not surprising, because his virtual pets allow, on the one hand, to escape from the surrounding reality (which is not too happy in the whole world now), and on the other hand, to feel what it means to have a four-legged friend, if in real life this happiness is not available to you.
- The most frequent comment I get on Instagram is: "Oh my God, how cute!" And I am grateful to people for that! Chong says.
The artist explains that the feedback and support he receives from his audience is a great motivation for creating new characters.
For young artists who also dream of coming up with something cool and unlike anything else, Yee advises:
- Creating your own art style shouldn't be your top priority. First, you should get some fundamental knowledge. After all, if you understand the rules well, you will know how to break them. And that's when your style will become natural.
Well, for those who do not like the subject of fantasy and who are able to be touched exclusively by real cats and dogs, we advise you to look at the Internet pages of live, real pets. We suggest taking a look at 10 cutest feline Instagram accounts.