My first run in with them before they started Imaginary Friends Studios was back in early / mid 2003 when I was on the hunt for some cool ass wallpapers to put on my Windows 98 PC (how’s that for old). I had just started my DeviantArt account and really, that was the coolest place to be for cool shit in the digital realm. That’s when I found this:
Like this thing had everything for me and so I ended up running into the works of Kai Lim aka `ukitakumuki. And his DeviantArt gallery is something well worth taking a look at. Kai I take it formed up with Stanley Lau and Kendrick Lim in about 2004 and formed Imaginary Friends Studios riding a wave of success with other digital artist around the world, and the professional works they had done for games and other digital works.
Since then the studio has basically exploded into a power house and digital arts juggernaut. They’re running two studios in Singapore and Jakarta and doing a hell of a lot of work for big names like D&D, Games Workshop, DC Comics / Entertainment, Nike, Square Enix, and doing magazine work on top of this.
One of their collective on going works has been ‘The Pepper Project’, an imagining of a red themed character named Pepper who across the imagination of all the IF artists get herself into different situations and styles (as seen below). The project was something conceived and spear-headed by one of the IF founders Stanley Lau and they now offer a collection of all things pepper in a sweet book.
I was fortunate last year to get the some of their collection books in a sweet cheap bundle. I snagged a copy of Imagine Prime – 2nd Edition, Imaginary Redux and a copy of Imagine (one of their first books) signed by all the three founders (such a sweet deal). If you have the money to spend and really dig the work they are doing, I suggest you grab yourself a copy from the store. They are reasonable priced and worth every penny.
The Pepper Project book is out as well, but I’m not sure it’s something I’d want to pick up, but if you’re into a massive collaboration project like that, then you should probably add that to the list of their shit to check out.
I have to say I do have a bit of artist envy in the work they do as well as the scope what they’ve been able to do for them selves just coming from humble digital backgrounds. Even getting a collective together myself with some artists would be quite the achievement for myself.
Take some time, go check them out (links below). They’re bound to have something to inspire you.