Concept artist for the videogame and film industries, Ned Rogers, discusses how his personal portfolio helped him develop his own style and bolstered his professional work in this sneak peek from issue 129…
Having begun his art career studying graphic design and editorial illustration, Ned Rogers has crossed genres and developed an exciting career as a freelance concept artist in the entertainment industry. Working on varied projects across TV, videogames and film Ned is currently in demand developing TV series pitches for production companies. He also teaches at CDW Studios, Adelaide, where he helps students train and prepare for industry jobs.
This month we speak to Ned about how he his commercial work has become more comfortable now that it reflects his own personal style and personality. He also shares his advice for budding artists on building strong foundations in drawing and painting, making contacts in the industry and giving yourself the freedom to pursue your own ideas…
Hi Ned, thanks for talking to 2dartist! Could you start by introducing yourself a bit to the readers?
Hi! Thanks for having me. I started out studying graphic design and editorial illustration at university but it didn’t take me long to figure out I wanted to work in the entertainment industry. I managed to transition over the course of a couple of years and I’ve had the privilege of working on a lot of interesting and varied projects across TV, games and film.
A lot of my recent work has been developing TV series pitches for production companies here in Australia. Unfortunately I can’t really talk about some of the larger projects I’ve been working on; it’s one part of this job that can be a bit annoying! I also teach at CDW Studios here in Adelaide, a specialized school run through Flinders University that focuses on getting students trained properly and into industry jobs.
So far in your career you’ve worked on games, TV and film projects, how has your work changed and developed over the course of these projects?
Looking back at my early work I can see so many mistakes and weird habits that I hope I’ve managed to train out of my hand! That’s an ongoing battle though.
I think I’ve also become more comfortable doing commercial work that reflects my own personal style and personality. It’s an easy trap when you’re just starting out to try and copy all the pretty art you see published instead of bringing your own experiences to the table.
Where do you look for inspiration? Are there any other artists you particularly admire?
I have so many sources, too many to fit in here! But I’ve always loved the Dutch masters, and particularly the landscapes that came out of that era. John Berkey is another favorite, along with a lot of other 1970s sci-fi artists.
On top of that I think travel is an important source of inspiration. You can’t imagine how varied the world is until you go and see it for yourself.
If you could meet any artist (past or present) what would you ask them and why?
Well, to go back to the last question I’d probably ask any of the Dutch masters, or even John Berkey, how they managed to get so much life into so few brushstrokes. But I know they’d just tell me it was practice!
To see more of Ned’s work and read the rest of his interview get the full issues 129 here!