Featured Member: Joe Rothenberg

Me-and-spideyCome check out Joe Rothenberg, better known as cup-of-joe, this month’s featured member! Joe is one of our Kapt’n Iglo project winners, so be sure to check out more of his amazing work here: joerothenberg.com. His website features a variety of animated shorts, so go on an enjoy!

  1. Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively (mini bio). 
    I started drawing when I was 4. By age 8 I was making flipbooks, and at 12 I was animating worms and stick figures in the computer. I’ve always loved cartoons and comedy, probably because I have a very silly family. My greatest creative ambition – and I think it’s a noble one – is to make people laugh.
  2. What brought you to the Zooppa community?
    About a year ago, a Zooppa staff member saw my work on Vimeo and invited me to submit to a contest. I had never heard of Zooppa before, but I figured I might as well give it a try, and boy, am I glad I did!
  3. What do you like most about crowdsourced projects?
    The freedom. I get to come up with the idea, write the script, and create something I’m really passionate about.
  4. Name 3 artists that have influenced your work.
    Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit), and Jay Ward (Rocky and Bullwinkle).
  5. Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your design?
    The John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the University of Southern California. I took a lot of Critical Studies courses, so now I think more like a critic when I’m writing a story. I’m also more disciplined and independent.
  6. What is your favorite style and artistic medium to work on?
    2D art with simple linework. I like to work fast. I typically draw in the computer, but I also love drawing on paper.
  7. Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
    Reading by the pool or doodling with friends at Dominican Joe coffee in Austin.
  8. Choose 5 words to describe your art.
    Simple, silly, imaginative, clever, and bacon. (Sorry, it’s almost lunchtime.)
  9. What projects are you currently working on?
    Pixel animation for a retro-style fantasy brawler game, and storyboards for an animated series of my own.
  10. What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the award money, the love for the brand?
    It was really the brief. They wanted a lighthearted family adventure with a nautical theme, and it just sounded like so much fun.
  11. What is one piece of advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?
    First, read the entire brief a few times to make sure you understand what the client wants. Brainstorm until you come up with a really unique idea that you love, and then refine it, making sure it checks all the boxes on the client’s brief in an engaging way. Then all you have to do is…make it!
  12. 10 years from now where will we see you and your artwork?
    At the Louvre. I’ll be outside peddling caricatures.

Jasmine Moore

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