Artist of the Week: Nick Chang

Nick Chang is a 24-year-old AAPI artist in Seattle who focuses on sci-fi.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Nick Chang: Most of my work is done in the free 3D program Blender. What makes my art unique is that I am applying it to make an extensive sci-fi universe across many forms of media, including book series, film and digital animations. I first self-published the book “An Empire in Peril” in 2017 and began learning Blender in 2018.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
I start with reference images on Google, especially of exotic foreign architecture and vehicles, to find a setting that catches my attention in an unusual way. I then begin constructing the scene with 3D meshes. These begin as basic shapes like cubes, cylinders or spheres, which I then warp into complex figures by playing with their angles and faces. The program’s “camera” exists within the 3D scene and can be moved and posed to capture my design from any angle, as either a still image or video.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
Growing up in the early 2000s, I was absolutely enthralled with the idea of the future. Social media and smart devices created an entirely new world that we were the first to experience. CGI technology matured in that time, giving us the ability to create totally lifelike imagery out of thin air. The possibilities seemed endless, and we were the pioneers. Although most of the digital age’s promises lie yet unfulfilled, the hope and wonder of that time still inspires my own take on sci-fi.

Do you have a specific “beat” or genre you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
Many of my visual art pieces represent the feelings that unfamiliar places or environments evoke within us, especially urban areas or outer space. My upbringing in Honolulu, Hawaii, has definitely shaped this interest. The local culture is highly urbanized and assigns a lot of importance to astronomy and the stars.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
My movie, “An Empire in Peril,” which is based on the book of the same name. Originally, a group from the Art Institute of Seattle was producing it while I was studying at Seattle University, but the Art Institute abruptly shut down, leaving the project stranded. I finished the movie independently and got it premiered at the landmark Central Library in Downtown. I had fought so hard for years to keep the project alive after the Art Institute and met so many amazingly helpful people along the way that, to me, it’s way more than just an indie film. It’s the era of my life when I learned who I was and what I was made of.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Playing HALO with my Dad for the first time in 5th grade was what solidified my love of sci-fi. My 10-year-old self was blown away by the visuals and action in a way I still vividly remember. Now, every time I work on a futuristic cityscape, I think back to when I was exploring the streets of New Mombasa at night. I remember how the bright lights and seemingly endless size of the game city made me feel both lost and amazed.

Visiting Tokyo for the first time also had a similar effect. The huge buildings, fast trains and neon lights all felt like something out of a sci-fi future. I set up many 3D scenes based on the streets and architecture of Tokyo.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
My website,, will have all the different media formats in one place. My books are available on Amazon and the Barnes & Noble online store. I also regularly upload to YouTube on the channel NickChangArt and my Instagram, @nickchang21.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Eventually, I intend to build a sci-fi universe that can rival the current mainstream. In the meantime, I hope to finish up my novels and then release a couple of art books to visualize the events of the series. I’m also working on partially reshooting the movie for a public release to YouTube and film festivals.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I like black coffee, especially dark roasts. When I was featured in the Convoy newsletter, it said I “could be found by following the strongest smell of coffee at 3 p.m.!”

About ‘Artist of the Week’: This city is packed with artists we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you’re wondering just what constitutes art, that’s the beauty of it; it’s up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

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