Rubyred (or more correctly Roger) is another member of the collaboration behemoth that is Game of Kings, so when the chance came to interview one of my favourite koi covered artists, I jumped at it.
Thanks for this Roger, could you start by telling us a little about yourself ?
A bit about me, well, I’ve been a graphic designer for over fifteen years. I started out in design working on consumer hobby magazines. For the last ten years I’ve worked for the same company, and we publish trade magazines and organise a number of trade exhibitions. I’m responsible for the design and branding of all the projects.
I studied graphic design and illustration on the same course as James (quigonjim), in fact we shared a flat with my girlfriend (now wife) during our final year. I haven’t seen him for a few years but got in contact again through RedBubble!
As you hinted at in the question, I have an interest in tattoo design (particularly Japanese) and currently have an arm sized project underway.
Most importantly of all though, I’m dad to two beautiful young girls.
Which artists influence or inspire you?
My background is more graphic design than illustration, so I tend to be inspired by designers. Classic names from the field of graphic design like Neville Brody, David Carson and Ian Swift.
To be honest, I’ve never been a follower of fantasy art or the comic book genres, so some of the references that fellow GoK members were mentioning were new to me. It was an interesting journey to see who inspired my fellow members.
I appreciate most forms of design and illustration and like to think that I’ve absorbed a lot of influences over the years, especially in the last year with the wide range of talent on shown on RedBubble.
You’ve been a member of Redbubble now for over a year, as well as being a host of “A Tshirt Revolution, how did you get involved with Game of Kings?
I got to know Simon’s work during the London Calling competition and we built up a rapport during the long ride to Simon’s eventual success. He came a’knocking one day with the idea of a multi artist collaboration. I jumped at the chance to be involved and when I saw who else he had snared, I found myself in the company of some of my most favourite artists on the site – daunting to say the least!
What’s been your experience being part of the project to date, and how do think it will be received?
Having said I was daunted by the collection of artists around me, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Simon explained the project and gave his initial vision (since then it has grown into something potentially huge) and divided up the characters from the board. Happy with my two allocated pieces, I attacked my sketchbook with some ideas.
One of the best things about this project has been the development of all the pieces. From the very early stages, Simon encouraged everyone to use the WIP (work in progress) forum within the group - initial sketches were posted and comments and advice flowed freely. This process really helped me with my two pieces, and they have taken quite a different direction from my original sketches. Danny jumped on board fairly early on and it was his early thoughts and writing that helped me solidify my characters.
We are hoping to display the WIP process in some form, something that I would love to see because I think it is one of the real gems to come from the collaboration and will give a real sense of journey to the project. If everyone gets to see some of the behind the scenes work that is going on I think it will add another really interesting dimension and I hope people will enjoy seeing the process some of the artists have gone through - I’m sure they will, as much as I have being privileged to be able to watch things unfold.
How much have you enjoyed creating your characters – have they been fun/interesting/tricky for any reason?
As I said earlier, my characters have changed quite significantly from early sketches. I had to step up my game to keep up with the quality of the others in the group, and I’m sure the overall standard of the work produced is a direct result of the support and collaboration of everyone involved. At times I felt a little out of my depth because I haven’t got the background interest in fantasy/comic book genres that some of the other artists have. But that is one of the key elements of this project, Simon selected people who already have their own distinctive style and it’s these differences that would add flavour to the collaboration. The idea of the Black side all coming from Simon and his distinctive style up against an artistic white army made up of conflicting yet complimentary techniques, really works and I think the end results are testament to the initial idea.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank Simon for giving me the chance to be part of this project, and working with the others has been the highlight of my time here on RedBubble. I’d like to think that this project will open the door to other collaborations on the site and if anybody gets the chance to work with a similar group of talented artists, grab it and hold on, you’ll be in for one hell of a ride!