EP 40 – Yohann Schepacz – Freelance Concept Artist and Illustrator – Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Horizon Zero Dawn…

Our guest this month on the Syn Studio podcast is Yohann Schepacz, the art director and co-owner of Oxan Studio, a visual development studio which creates high-end imagery for films, print media and video games. A concept artist and illustrator with over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry, he has worked as a senior concept artist for Eidos on many AAA games such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Rise of the Tomb Raider, among others. Yohann is known for his unique ideas and technical versatility which have enabled him to work on other high profile projects such as Magic The Gathering, Independence Day Resurgence and Horizon Zero Dawn. In addition to this, he is also working on adding more content to his his widely popular personal art project “TINKIET”.

“When it comes down to it, creating images and design is just problem solving, so the more you train at problem solving, will it be puzzles or video games, the better you will be at being a Concept Artist”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Yohann discuss the fundamentals of artwork, his tricks to improving and the big secrets behind how Yohann was able to break into the Concept Art industry.


Here’s what you’ll learn:

[05:06] – The origin story of Oxan Studio, Yohann’s visual development studio which he co-owns with his wife and how their collaboration helped him become the artist he is today
[07:19] – Yohann talks about the contrasting artistic journeys between he and his wife for the same end goal
[14:44] – From studying in France to working 2 jobs and studying in Australia all while learning English – Yohann recounts his early travels
[29:49] – Yohann describes the best conditions for an ideal work environment and how to find ways to make a project even more interesting
[32:42] – What makes a good Art Director? What should Art Directors avoid? Yohann gives us his take on it
[37:07] – Designing hidden desert bases on Independance Day 2 and concept art for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Yohann tells us what these projects taught him
[40:15] – Yohann talks TINKIET, his personal project, the reasons why he started it and how some of his designs have a WALL-E influence
[45:29] – “Everyday I see artwork that blows my mind” – Yohann discusses Richard Schmid and Ruan Jia and how he learned color theory by studying their styles
[49:21] – “There’s different ways of teaching: tell somebody, show somebody, and make somebody do” – Yohann talks about the importance of practice and teaching
[56:06] – Yohann discusses managing artists who work for him and what he looks for when he is hiring new artists for Oxan Studio
[01:02:03] – We explore Yohann’s gallery and the origin of the name TINKIET. See the art discuss here: Live long and Fester, Fremen
[01:07:15] – The talk shifts to TV shows like Dirk Gently, Superhero shows, the importance of great bad guys in storytelling plus Yohann’s top anime pick
[01:21:32] – “I try to mix everything, would it be science politics or art” – Yohann talks about how a well-rounded knowledge base is beneficial to any concept artist
[01:27:52] – Yohann gives us an important tip he learned from his wife, regarding the types of references an artist should use and a fun fact on how Eucalyptus trees can change your paintings
[01:43:23] – Yohann talks about meeting Fred Rambault and how Fred introduced him to the world of Concept Art
[01:47:34] -“If I learn one thing – just one thing – that makes me better or faster, it was worth it” – Yohann’s techniques on learning new art tricks
[01:50:55] – What does it take to be an artist? Yohann breaks it down to the essentials and talks about his early influences, from strategy games to Dungeons and Dragons
[02:00:48] – We read Yohann a fan question! If you have any questions you would like to ask top future guest Concept Artists, don’t hesitate to send us a message on our Facebook!
[02:03:25] – Important advice for artists who are looking to Freelance plus Yohann gives us the scoop on what it was like working on Rise of the Tomb Raider

Links you’ll like…

Yohann Schepacz:




Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


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