Proficient with Photoshop, Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, Print, Digital Design, Matte Painting, Environmental Design, Props, Concept, etc. Rogie Custodio is a MONSTER. At such a young age, it is hard to believe he is just now carving his niche into the professional world. Also, he is the first person I have ever requested to donate art to the website (he created the final moments of pervy sarge Jiraiya banner). We sit down and dissect his brain, ranging from topics from his art, movies, and more. Read below for the full interview…
Most of your illustrations are generally geared towards anime related shows. What is it about Animation Production that you find so stimulating in particular?
Rogie: I chose to do animation production because I thought that it would be a step up (at the time) for me. I was interested in how the human form is drawn, but also I was curious of how it moves. Watching animation from a young age, I wanted to have a go in actually making someone or something come to life.
For an illustrator or creative who heavily promotes himself as a commission based artist, what advice do you have for someone who encounters an unruly client?
Rogie: This totally depends on the artist themselves. I tend to cater to what they want, and try to get it right as a sketch before I proceed with further detailing. If the client is hard to deal with or ask for something which is out of your skill range, I simply just reject the offer.
Do you have any particular horror stories regarding this matter?
Rogie: Some, it’s mostly when a client is just all descriptive and has nothing to offer for reference, and you try and research and apply what they described, spending a long time on it and then get told that it’s nothing like how they imagined/described it.
Of course we’re big into movies. You worked a bit with Glory ‘n Dreams Studio who are releasing the film ‘Back To The Sea’ really soon. Could you tell us a bit about working in the studio?
Rogie: It’s actually a young company, I think this is their first feature film. To be honest, I don’t know where it is at at the moment. Last time I went there, I worked as a clean-up storyboard artist, I was then promoted to work as a Junior storyboard artist working along side the Lead storyboard artist. It was a great experiece because it was really fascinating to see the professional work at their best. The studio itself was pretty big, but it was a combination of a special effects and animation studio. It was pretty quite most of the time, till we started playing loud music from our iPods because we didn’t know any of the chinese songs they were playing.
You’ve probably been asked this a million times, but I wanted to take the freshest approach to this question. What is your creative process like now, versus a few years ago? How have you evolved and what kind of new techniques are you trying?
Rogie: I think my creative process has changed drastically, especially since i started doing life drawing, character designing have just been a lot more easy. As for my digital painting skills, I think they have remained the same, it just those little tweaks you discover when you get to know the program better. I generally tend to paint something in a traditional way even when I use photoshop. I also tend to look back at my work and try to recreate it just to see the amount I have learnt over the years, I think this is a great exercise for artist to do especially if they want to improve. As they say, you can’t look into your future unless you look back to your past.
Do you accredit formal education to your current work? Or do you feel it is just used as a vehicle to expand yourself as a creative in a professional sense?
Rogie: This one is hard to answer [laughs]. I am actually doing something vaguely similar to what I studied. But its more of the designer field. So i guess it changes. I think my work is still quite different from job. But hey, you live, you learn.
Brighton UK is considered to be one of the better live music spots in the area, do you have any interest in expanding your art into the music world?
Rogie:That’s funny that you mentioned that! I actually worked on a few cover illustrations for some band in America. But not sure where it’s going to go. Its still quite new to me.
Most artist stick to one medium, but you are skilled at Water Colors, digital, acrylics, oils, animation…the list goes on. How do you juggle these skills without feeling neglectful or other skills?
Rogie: It totally depends, its not the material, its the artist in this case. I struggle with some other materials, but the majority of them tend to have a similarity, so if you know one you’ll know the other. I tend to expand my vocabulary of mediums, and try and settle for something that I could cope with. But its just me trying to be versatile with my approach, no other reason behind it.
Could you explain a bit the difference in approach when drawing ‘anime’ versus a ‘life drawing’? Does your mindset change?
Rogie: I can tell you this, learning anime was definitely beneficial because when it came to life drawing, you already have a sense of proportions. Most starters who do life drawing don’t tend to get proportions right. So I would say it is beneficial to an extent. But I would avoid sticking to the style when you are actually drawing from real life. They’re both very different.
Lastly, any general advice you can give to a creative who is trying to improve their skill set?
Rogie: I would say keep practicing. No matter what they say this is the truest thing I have done in my opinion. Its the same when you’re trying to get fit. They say just exercise, which also very true. Also, don’t settle in your comfort zone, try to push your boundaries. If you’re finding art easy, then it means you’ve hit your wall. You’re not learning anything new. I hope that helps.
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