Tran: ‘Whenever I Have Papers And Pencils, I Will Start Drawing’

By Khai Huynh – Pioneer Online Editor


From the time he was a child, Nghia Tran loved playing video games. Today, he is a self-taught freelance digital artist. Tran is now formally studying graphic design at Oklahoma City Community College with the dream of becoming a professional digital artist.

Tran was introduced to video games by his brother during his childhood. His first-ever game was “Mega Man X4.” At a very young age, Tran was attracted to the animation graphics, characters, and behaviors in the game. 

“‘Mega Man X4’ is the first game inspiring me to become a digital artist,” Tran said. “I played that game continuously for two to three years during my childhood.”

Tran started drawing digital characters in elementary school by copying his favorite characters and drawing them all over the place.

“There was one time I saw people on the Internet drawing the Rockman, then I started trying to learn how to draw from them,” he said. “Whenever I have papers and pencils, I will start drawing.”

Since then, Tran has played over 50 games of numerous genres. One of his favorites is “Monster Hunter: World” which he still plays today.

“My favorite parts of this game are the cutscenes and the food,” Tran shared. “The food looks very realistic and delicious.”

The time it takes for Tran to finish a piece of art varies depending on the piece.

Monster Hunter World Anjanath vs Insect Glaive Hunter (Photo provided by Nghia Tran)

“With the simple and less detailed work, I can finish one in two to three days,” he said. “The longest one was up to a month or more. The hardest part is the background because it has a lot of details.”

Most of his artworks are paid for by individuals or organizations under commissions. Tran was able to secure freelance work by showcasing only a few of his works. 

“They asked me to draw something for them then paid me after,” Tran said. “I usually get paid at the price they offered or less depending on the quality of the artworks.”

Nghia Tran showing his artwork (Photo by Khai Huynh)

His plan after graduating from OCCC is becoming a professional digital artist to create video game graphics.

“I love doing design work for video games,” he said. “In case it doesn’t work out, I would do illustration but still stick with video games.”

Tran has shared over 20 artworks online under the nickname, “Otaro Oyama.” To check out Tran’s work, visit ArtStation.