First off, let’s get to the origin of the name Rodgon, I assume it’s short for Rodney Gonzalez or something like that but when did you shorten it to Rodgon?
HAHAHAHA, Its short for Rodrigo Gonzalez. I went with that name because it kind of sounded like a Pokemon lol and I thought it was cute and catchy. I find it funny when people actually think my name is Rodgon though.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mexico city and USA , we moved a lot when I was younger, but settled in San diego for the last 18 years and I love it here.
How did art play into your childhood?
It really didn't. Hahahaha, I started doing art in a serious way when i was around 18 years old ( I drew like a 10 year old thought) and jumped the gun and signed up for art school. Luckily it paid off, it was a definite gamble though.
Do you have any other artists in the family? Who influenced/encouraged you?
My mom was always a creative person as i gew up, and I had 2 cousins that were really good at it too.
If you could go back in time and give your young self advice, what would you say?
Take everything a little more serious, make sure to draw twice as much and for the love of God... backup all your files. lol
How do you pay the bills today?
I am a freelance illustrator and a youtuber. Those two things are what pay the bills each month.
What jobs have you had in the past?
Oh man... lets go down the list hahahaha. Animator, video editor, graphic designer, grpahic artist, illustrator, t shirt designer, marketing engineer, caricature artist, interface designer, 3D modeler and i also worked as a delivery guy for a store when I was younger. lol
You’re known for carrying a sketchbook, how long have you been in that habit?
I always loved having a sketchbook with me since college. There is a certain feeling of accomplisment that comes with finishing a book that isnt quite matched with anything else. I love that feeling and its been around 15 years now.
How has that made an impact on your art?
It made me better 100%, I wasn't the best artist but thanks to filling out book after book I was able to be competent in school and then a little better afterwards. I still grow with each book I finish
What are your drawing routines like when and where do you create?
I try to draw at least 2 pages a day, one in the morning and one at night. I do all my work in between. I love coffee shops more than any other spot.
How much of your art is traditional vs digital?
I would say about 50/50. I love both aspects of art and I dont think you should have one without the other.
What do you like about each?
Traditional drawing is more personal and restrictive. Makes you get better and faster. Digital allows for more mistakes and detail. It also makes things easier to market. SO you gotta have both to be a complete artist in this day and age.
What are your favorite tools?
A simple blue Bic pen and highligheter! :D cant beat that combo.
You’ve had a successful YouTube channel for about a year, how has that changed the way you promote yourself?
Hasn't changed much. I have a little formula I keep to and it has worked well. I like giving my followers what they like to see and I am very happy that they love my own personal projects and not just fan art from others.
Was it hard getting into making videos or did that come natural?
It was hard at first. Took forever to learn the programs I had not used in years, but once I got the hang of it it became super easy for me.
What is your strategy with other social media?
I approach them pretty similarly. I analyze what people like and dont like and then I approach the issues I come up with that way. Knowledge is power in social media and you definitely need to know some stuff to get better at it.
Where would you like it to take you?
Ideally I would love to be able to create my own designs and be able to not have a routine 9to5 ever again in my life. I absolutely hate the 9 to 5 format of work. Hahaha, that is really the reason I want this to be successful.
What is a favorite project you’ve worked on in the past?
I've worked on a few that i absolutely loved. I did some enviromental comics with some characters called the WHOBUDDIES, which were like captain planet but they were owls. :) and it was one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on.
Is there a job out there you’d love to have?
CEO of my own successful design firm and art talent agency :) so i can help up and coming artists a good shot at living their dreams as well.
If money and time were no object, what would you work on?
I would be doing the same thing I am doing now, just on a much bigger scale. Maybe I would venture into making my own animations and such. Never wanted to work for Disney or Pixar, I've always wanted to be the next Disney or Pixar. :) a man can dream ^_^
Who are some of your favorite artists today?
I have a small handful of artists I love. The guys at CREATUREBOX are definitely up there, as well as GENEVIEVE TSAI , CHRIS SANDERS and a few others as well.
What advice would you give a young artist that want’s to level up their skills?
DRAW AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN! AND DONT JUST DRAW WHAT YOU LIKE. DRAW ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING AND BUILD THAT MENTAL LIBRARY! ( all caps because i probably would yell it like a football coach hahahaha)
Where can people find your work?