The Beautifully Diverse Art and Journey of Sammy Khalid

Art is a voyage of self-discovery...

Sammy Khalid, also known around the web as @chigg, is half-Sundanese half-Filipino digital artist from Ireland.

Throughout his career he worked on amazing projects like Black Mirror, Artemis Fowl and League of Legends, with clients such as Disney, Netflix and HBO.

Take a look at a selection of his best paintings and find out what it took for him to go from a kid drawing characters on all of his school notebooks to becoming a professional illustrator…

The Paintable team had the good fortune to be able to ask Sammy about his artistic journey so far- here are some highlights we wanted to share with you!

All my notebooks from school were covered in random sketches...

Sammy Khalid: My art journey has been quite unconventional. A lot of the time I had no idea what I was doing so blind luck is a big factor in where I am today. I’ve always loved drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. All my notebooks from school were covered in random sketches of monsters and characters from my favourite films and games. I found it impossible to study for tests but I could focus my concentration on an 8-hour drawing without a break. This strange ability got me the attention of peers and teachers alike and the reputation of being “the best artist around”…

I learned the hard way that talent will only get you so far...

Naturally, I took this title to heart and with ego inflated, I carried it with me into adulthood and into art college where I studied animation. There I learned the hard way that talent will only get you so far. It’s hard work that separates a professional from amateur artists.

I learned about drawing fundamentals, how to research, the film making process and working within a team. It was around this time that I realised I wanted to be a concept artist. It was when I graduated that it dawned on me that in order to get into the entertainment industry, my work needed to be as good or better than the current professionals that I admired. This is when I started to take painting seriously…

I re-invested my earnings into mentorships

I put a hold on my social life and made an 8-hour daily painting schedule to simulate working in a studio. Luckily, I had been living with my parents who were supportive and I didn’t need to pay rent, this gave me time to really focus on getting good. 

At this point I had already started making money through freelance storyboard gigs and editorial illustrations which covered my cost of living. I then re-invested my earnings into mentorships in environment design, matte painting and character design from some of my favourite artists. They helped me build a professional portfolio that got me into the film industry working in a VFX house as a concept artist/ matte painter…

I am grateful every day for the chance to do what I love...

Since then, I’ve been working full time as a Concept Artist/ Illustrator. I have got to work on great projects such as Black Mirror, Artemis Fowl and League of Legends for dream clients such as Disney, Netflix and HBO.

This job has given me amazing flexibility to work from anywhere in the world and I am grateful every day for the chance to do what I love.

See more of Sammy Khalid on the web:

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1 thought on “The Beautifully Diverse Art and Journey of Sammy Khalid”

  1. I know Sammy since he was very young boy as his father happens to be a close friend of mine.
    His paintings, his work and his words are not only a masterpiece of ingenuity and skill but also are a true reflection of the honest and hardworking family he belongs to!!
    I wish him and his family the Very Best of future endeavors!

    Reply

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