Jonathan Li

Meet Jonathan Li

Concept Artist at Square Enix

Jon Li

About Jonathan

About Jonathan

Mentor of Concept Art

Jonathan currently works as a Concept Artist at Square Enix, where he has worked on concept art for numerous titles in the Final Fantasy franchise.

He has a passion for narrative arts and loves creating worlds, the characters that live in them, and the stories that they can tell. He believes video games are the perfect medium  for him to fulfill this calling.

  

Jonathan's work

Credits include Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, to name a few.

Q&A with Jonathan

Which city are you currently based in?

Tokyo, Japan

What did your pathway into the industry look like?
I started off as a project manager for Tram Simulator Dusseldorf, but I've always been interested in art. I eventually became a producer for another mobile game company for VR projects. The project was eventually cancelled and I was transferred to the publishing department. I refused and instead enrolled in FZD School of Design in Singapore, which eventually led me to working for Square Enix as a concept artist now.
What has been the best experience of your career so far?
Being the team leader for the VR game was both frustrating and rewarding. We were absolutely out of our element, didn't have the skillset, but we had the passion. Our team was allowed to function as a separate unit from the rest of the company, so we were essentially a small indie studio within a larger studio. That didn't last long, but a smaller passionate team communicating and bouncing around ideas was the most fun for me.
What’s your advice for your students?

Only a fraction of your concept art career will be about design, the rest is human relations. Be nice to each other!

Learn concept art from industry pros 

What do you enjoy most about being a CG Spectrum mentor?
The feeling when students you taught eventually become your peers in the industry!
How do you stay creative outside of work?
I'm working on my own project outside of work called War of the Wicked.
What excites you most about the future of concept art?
With streaming affecting cinema and western 2D animation making a huge comeback, there are a lot of new opportunities for concept art!

Learn more about Jonathan's experience or connect with him on his website or on ArtStation.

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