2019 Artist of the Year
Is our Artist of the Year for 2019. RodS received the highest amount of votes from Renderosity members in very competitive voting. Congratulations to you, RodS!
Rod joined Renderosity in 2009 and has nearly 300 followers. He is both a digital artist and a writer. His long-running series "The Girls from T.N.A." is still drawing fans. He began the series as "a fun way to learn Poser" and only planned 3 chapters. The series has taken on a life of its own.
Rod doesn't only create for the graphic novel series, but he enjoys making fantasy scenes depicting powerful women. His work helps him cope with the world and gives him a connection to others that is unique and empowering.
We congratulate RodS for being voted the Artist of the Year. Please enjoy the short video (see above) which features 8 works from his gallery insterspersed with special video comments recorded by Rod himself!
We have an interview with RodS (see below) where you'll find out more about his background, working methods and plans for the future. Also, our video features works by Rod interspersed with a video made by Rod thanking Renderosity members for voting for him along with a bit of his personal history as an artist.
Interview with RodS
Renderosity: Can you tell us a bit more about your background and how you got into creating digital art?
RodS: I’ve loved art and creating for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was always drawing and creating little stories in my school notebook – it used to drive my teachers crazy! As an adult, I enjoyed playing with many types of traditional media; experimenting to see what worked for me and what didn’t. The most success I had was with pencils, both graphite and colored pencils.
I discovered digital art in the early 90’s while working for a well-known computer company (think cows..) I would scan my drawings into Photoshop (I started with Version 4), and added colors and shading (started doing this with a mouse – not easy! I now use Wacom tablets and a Cintique).
In late summer 2009, I discovered two things that would change my art and life: Poser (Ver. 8), and Renderosity. It’s been an amazing journey! I’m now using Poser Pro 2014 and Poser Pro 11.2 as well as DAZ Studio, Photoshop CC, Vue 10, and a few other goodies. And beginning my 10th year in this awesome community!
What is the origin of your long-running graphic novel series "The Girls from T.N.A"?
RodS: I got the idea shortly after joining Renderosity in 2009. I created an image for a friend’s birthday with the two main characters, G4 and Arawen. Someone commented I should make a series out of it, and the seed was planted. I thought it would be a fun way to learn new techniques with Poser and other apps. My original idea was to have three chapters of 10 pages each. Halfway through Chapter 2, the story took on a life of its own, and here we are almost 10 years later with Chapter 7 just around the corner.
It was very loosely based on the old TV show, “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and I’ll make a subtle reference to it every now and then (channel ‘D’ has been mentioned a time or two). I actually have a ‘script’ in a notebook which I’m constantly updating and changing as new ideas present themselves. I’m having so much fun with this, and it just blows me away that so many folks enjoy it!
Photography is also a big passion: how did you get interested?
RodS: My dad actually got me started. He loved photography. When he was in the US Air Force, I would sometimes go with him to the base hobby shop where they had a darkroom base personnel could use. It was like magic watching the prints develop in the dim red safe-light in the darkroom. I was hooked.
I’ve been shooting for many years, and have done some professional work, both freelance and also with a modeling agency several years ago. All my photography now is digital, and I still love finding new places and subjects to photograph. I will also capture images with an eye to using them as backgrounds for figures rendered in Poser or DAZ.
How has Renderosity made a difference in your life as an artist?
RodS: Oh, my gosh…. Sooo many ways! There is so much inspiration here with all the amazing artists and their work. I’ve made so many wonderful friends here who are so supportive and encouraging! Several have done some fun collaborations with me on the T.N.A. story, and many others have given me helpful tips and ideas. It really is an amazing community.
Do you have any advice for those those just starting out in graphic novels and/or photography?
RodS: The first thing I would say is… Just Do It! Take your ideas and run with them. Even if you think it’s a crazy idea, the chances are someone is going to enjoy it. And the more you try, the more you create, the better your skills will become. If you’re creating a story, it’s helpful to write down your ideas in an outline format. You don’t have to write a book – just put down some basic ideas, then flesh it out as you get new ideas. And you will.. Trust me on that. Above all, have FUN with it!
With photography, it’s much the same. Get out there and take photos.. Shoot your friends, family, pets, flowers, trees, whatever. Use your phone, or a dedicated camera. You don’t have to worry about wasting film or processing anymore. Study some of the great information you’ll find on line – there are some excellent resources on YouTube for concepts such as composition. Look at your photos and try to analyze what you like – or don’t like – about each one.
What are your future plans and projects?
RodS: Currently, I’m working on Chapter 7 of the T.N.A. Story, both artwork and writing. I’m putting the prologue together right now and hope to start posting in the next week or so. I’m also working on a couple side-stories; one is about Angelique (G4) one of the main story characters. There will be others as well including a backstory about the Director of the organization.
I’m also taking my first baby-steps with Blender as I’d like to try doing some modeling at some point.
Future plans include doing more videos of my creative process, and even doing some livestreams as I work on some of the T.N.A. story. I’m also hoping to update the OS SSD in my DAZ machine soon.
Any last thoughts you'd like to share?
RodS: Creating is the medicine, the magic that helps us stay somewhat sane in this crazy world. Make sure you set aside some time just to create, and just do it. And never give up! Keep on creating! You’ll feel better, and you just might brighten someone else’s’ day! Thank you so much! I am deeply honored to be voted AOM!