“I watched Möbius draw and it was the strangest process, but for him it was perfectly natural and no one can argue with his results.” Designer Robh Ruppel reflects on his time within the art and animation industry, working on projects for everyone from Disney Studios Animation to Netflix. When not painting, “he paints,” he says. Find out more…
Robh Ruppel has a name synonymous with concepts and environment work so real and atmospheric, you feel you could reach out and breathe the air in the scene. Working with fellow artists at Netflix on Love, Death, Robots, and others now still under wraps, he continues to paint up a storm.
Ruppel has worked for some of the best and biggest in the visual arts industry, including Naughty Dog, Blur, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, Disney Studios Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Disney TV Animation, Paramount and, right now Netflix Animation. After a childhood of sketching, he went to learn his craft at the Art Center College of Design, where he later went back to teach. He also taught at Gnomon and Concept Design Academy. He has received Gold and Silver awards from the Spectrum Fantasy Art Annual and has been published in several other annuals and collections like Ballistic Publishing’s EXPOSÉ series.
What are you trying to say? Where do you want the viewer to look? How should they feel? Scared, impressed, revenant? Those questions are the most important.
Robh knows times have changed for the artist. “There’s so much more information available online,” he says. “It used to be that there was a small handful of books that you had to hunt down to find certain types of academic knowledge on drawing and painting. Nowadays you can find so much of that stuff for free. And it’s certainly easier to get recognition nowadays. Social media has made it possible for more artists to find an audience as the avenues of discovery have increased from merely print or galleries. Although I guess there is a lot more noise in that channel. There’s a lot more chatter, a lot more information that needs to be sifted through to find the gold.”
What is so inspiring in Ruppel’s work is his seemingly effortless images in the amazing Plein Air impressionism style. Sometimes mistaken as photographic snapshots, they are his rendition of the scene he has before him. “I’ve been applying what I discovered painting outdoors to my commercial work while at the same time working on pushing my own shape design,” he says. “One can easily spend a lifetime working on just a few basic ideas. I find that’s the beauty of this career.”
I watched Möbius draw and it was the strangest process, but for him it was perfectly natural and no one can argue with his results.
As of late, all of Ruppel’s industrial work is completed on the pc however a few of his most profitable items nonetheless have a hand-drawn base. “There’s one thing to the rhythms the hand makes when drawing that impart a pure interplay of proportion,” Robh states. He works primarily in Photoshop, however since Adobe moved the applying to the subscription-based mannequin which wants an online connection for a lot of of its elements, he normally brings up Procreate and Heavy Paint for discipline work.
When out in the elements, Robh Ruppel is the most creative, and it’s all about storytelling. “It’s a matter of story, a matter of emphasis,” he says. “What are you trying to say? Where do you want the viewer to look? How should they feel? Scared, impressed, revenant? Those questions are the most important. Arranging as few possible shapes to get that idea across is the art of composition. There are no rules per se; it’s a matter of pushing a few shapes around to evoke the clearest emotional response.”
Ruppel says the beauty of doing this more and more is that your understanding gets more simple and profound. “The basic principles of art, of context, of emphasis become more and more important and less and less on technique,” he adds.
Robh is sure there is always problem-solving involved in each painting’s journey. And every artist has insecurities and doubts. “But if you do something long enough, you develop a way that works 90 percent of the time,” he says, “at least in terms of getting the image started.” He says once you have a foundation laid for the picture, then the inspiration can take over. “For everyone that is different,” he adds. “I watched Möbius draw and it was the strangest process, but for him it was perfectly natural and no one can argue with his results.”
Proper now, Robh Ruppel is working at Netflix Animation on a super-stylized present. “It’s an ideal place to be, their enterprise mannequin is fairly new and the tasks are extremely diversified,” he says. “The brand new streaming platforms want plenty of content material and there are such a lot of nice studios in Europe and Asia which have such a excessive calibre of labor that it’s an incredible alternative for animation on the whole. Additionally, these studios are identified for a very totally different fashion of animation which solely will increase the look and vary of what’s potential and acceptable.”
Working digitally at present within the arts discipline is tremendously diversified and one’s profession may be molded in any means the artist needs to go. The flexibility to work for various productions in numerous international locations these days is fairly distinctive. Digital entry has allowed individuals from all around the world to collaborate on tasks. “I’ve employed a number of artists as a result of I got here throughout their work on-line so that could be a large advantage of the digital revolution.”
Robh bounces between portray in private work and making brief movies. He says to work in two mediums makes them feed one another with new questions and knowledge. “Engaged on brief movies and static artwork forces every self-discipline to develop and evolve,” he says. “There’s a way of rhythm in video modifying that makes one conscious of the rhythms in a static composition. You develop into conscious of how these two artwork kinds enable for progress, maybe greater than merely working in a single.”
There’s a lot more chatter, a lot more information that needs to be sifted through to find the gold.
The world is a very different place now, with seamless web communications and the ability to network and work anywhere. “There’s a great phrase called ‘woodshedding’ that Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker used,” Robh notes. “It’s that time when you isolate yourself from outside influences and just refine your own voice. You go into the woodshed for a long period of time and just refine your view/craft/voice. I think that needs to come before getting too caught up in which platform to show your work. You should have something to say and the only way to discover that is to take the time to develop yourself.”
Engaged on tasks like Tron: Rebellion and Love, Loss of life, Robots have crammed many months for Ruppel currently, by the COVID19 instances and earlier than. It was a really heat, artistic collaboration for him. “Working with Alberto Mielgo and Robert Valley has been extraordinarily rewarding. Working with them is like getting paid to go to highschool. They’re each such robust designers that by mere proximity you’re pressured to develop into a greater artist.”