Monday, November 18, 2013

RODNEY PIKE – An Artist With Immense Face Value!

Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?

"Remembering Leslie Nielsen" by Rodney Pike
Pictures always tell a story and everyone likes to take pictures, view them and share them with their friends, families and loved ones.  There are some of you that like to take those photos and manipulate them with different backgrounds or perhaps copy & paste a face in place of another,  and with the new age of digital photography and photo software that is currently available for users, these kinds of tasks are very much achievable as well as enjoyable and addicting.

You are about to get to know one of the most talented caricature illustrators of our time who has set the bar for digital photo manipulation.  Although his pictures may seem a bit over exaggerated, his unique gift for finding humorous satire in emotional facial features and transferring it to the digital canvas is not!
His name is Rodney Pike.

Rodney Pike is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  His love of art started at a very young age when he was first introduced to the works of Norman Rockwell, who was most famous for the cover illustrations of The Saturday Evening Post  depicting everyday life scenarios for the magazine for more than four decades.   “His ability to capture and enhance expressions to convey the message of the piece, and of course his story telling ability in a single work intrigued Me.”, says Rodney.  “There are many artists who have influenced my work but Rockwell really set the stage for my becoming a humorous illustrator with the hope that my work also tells a story or conveys a message in some way.”

A caricature study of the Rolling Stones done strictly for practice and entered this into a Freak Show at for kicks by Rodney Pike. It took silver.

Caricature of Mick Jagger by Rodney Pike
After gazing at Rodney Pike’s incredible work, one would think that he has been doing caricature work for years, quite the contrary.  “I have no training in caricatures or even Photoshop for that matter. I just started experimenting with it since April 2010 and caricatures even less, so I have lots to learn.” says Rodney Pike. 

In fact, Rodney Pike set aside his passion for art for 25 years to be a husband and a father for 5, only to have his passion rekindled April of 2010 when he entered his first Photoshop contest at I had finally found my niche.” says Rodney. Photoshop and photo-manipulation was the medium that I had been searching for all my life. Since that day, my art has consumed me once again as it had when I was a young man. I have been working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week since then studying other artists such as Sebastian Kruger, Max Sauco, Jason Seiler and others while learning photo-manipulation in Photoshop.”

While most people search Google for information, definitions, directions and links to different websites, Rodney Pike uses Google and other search engines to find emotional descriptions like “despair”, “pride”, “strange”, “expressions”, “mood”, “surreal”, or even as vague as the word “face”.
  I look for expressions, moods or anything interesting about people in general and their infinite varieties. I take images that spark interest and bring them into Photoshop.says Rodney.  I may see something or someone while driving down the road that inspires me or sparks an idea. Lately though, I have been working on improving my ability to recognize the qualities in people that make good caricatures so I’m looking for expressions of certain people as opposed to ideas for complicated situational illustrations at this point.

Metallica - A Group Caricature by Rodney Pike

Acceptance for an artist in any field is a challenge. Some feel it is not a real job and just a hobby. Other people may feel that there have been corners cut and may not agree with the work of Rodney Pike, who does photo-manipulated caricatures as opposed to traditional or digitally painted caricatures in which Rodney states, It  was one of my biggest challenges.”

 “I’ve had to face doing what I do is gaining acceptance from the caricature community. I have had tremendous acceptance and support from the general public but some traditional caricature artists haven’t accepted my work or me…yet. Through history, there have always been non-acceptance issues for artists who are introducing something different. It will come with time.” 

"I'm Still The Governator" by Rodney Pike

 Rodney Pike has received acceptance and support from extremely successful artists in his field like Jason Seiler, Dominic Philibert, Jason De Graaf, Denis Peterson, Pamela Wilson and David Jon Kassan. “These are big name artists at the top of their game so I guess that's good enough for Me.”, says Rodney.
The most amazing and inspiring thing about Rodney Pike is that he has no process or method in what he does. Everything Rodney does with Photoshop is completely experimental.  What I've done to this point is purely instinctive.” states Rodney.  “I have no set work process, no method and generally have no concept when starting a piece. I know that sounds strange but it's the way I work.  I always start with a face and I just let it lead me in whatever direction it takes me. I do things different every time because I am continually learning new methods and techniques as well as basic procedures and ways I go about manipulating images and developing my work into whatever it becomes.”

""General Bean" by Rodney Pike
Rodney Pike has all the qualities of a true perfectionist, as he himself is his worst critic and is always in constant pursuit of learning, creating and continually seeking inspiration in everything he does to fuel his creativity.  I work my ass off!” says Rodney.  From the moment I get up until I can't see straight and then I go to bed. I also study other artists and the way they interpret things as well as their styles and techniques, but don't try to copy someone’s style. Create your own. It's a natural process and will come with time.”
"Hail To The Thief" by Rodney Pike

Several things are for sure.  Rodney Pike is one of the most talented caricature illustrators in the world!  His work can be found and seen in FHM Magazine, Tennis Magazine, DOCMA Magazine, Catchphrase Entertainment, New Coast Productions in LA, The Village Voice in NYC and works for large successful media publishing companies like Bauer Media, Miller Publishing Group and more. He is also a member of the ISCA and NAPPRodney Pike is true to himself and to his passion and love for caricature illustration and digital manipulation.  His standards are very high to produce a picture perfect product and his attitude towards his methods and the future leave a residual mark for all new comers who enter his field, a role model for many years to come!
Bill Clinton - 'Still Kickin' by Rodney Pike

“Everything that I have done prior to today is history. I retain what I learned from it but I press forward to better my work each time I create something. Yesterday is gone and today is all I have to learn and grow in my work. I do very much appreciate the fact that people out there admire the work I have done until now.”
 “There is a quote that I love. "The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?" ~ Unknown author.

“I think that talent is nothing more than the shear desire to achieve an artistic goal. The only limit to your success in art or anything you aspire to achieve is the limit you put on yourself by your own doubt. I don't set goals. I believe goals are limits. I try to set milestones, moving from one to another continually striving to improve and get to the next level. Why put a limit on yourself. Aim to be the best, believe you can be the best and work with passion to be the best (without doubt), and if you want it bad enough, you will be the best!”  ~ Rodney Pike

ThomYorke - RADIOHEAD by *rwpike

Rodney’s advice to people who share his passion and desire to learn his art form or any art form is, “To study the work of artists you admire in great detail. Try to emulate their work.  Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you.  Learn everything that your preferred software has to offer. Experiment with new techniques and practice, practice, practice.”  
For artists, musicians and anyone else who has ever wanted to do what they truly love, I don’t think we could have said that any better or lived by a statement that is truer than the ones that Rodney Pike has stated above.  Rodney Pike’s ethic, method and undeniable passion for his craft are motivationally inspiring for everyone. His incredible attitude and tremendous works of art prove that you can do anything that you love to do by setting your mind to it, finding your niche and leaving yourself open to the limitless opportunities that will present themselves in front of you.

This is a picture perfect attitude that we hope everyone will look at, admire and keep etched in the photo album of your minds forever!
The Harveys by Rodney Pike

On a personal note, since I have gotten to know Rodney Pike and his fabulous work.  I do not look at a picture the same anymore.  ”I think it's art itself that makes you look at life, people and everything in a different way. I think it's the ability to draw inspiration from something or someone or to see deeper into what may appear meaningless to some else. A great art teacher of mine use to say; “there is a difference between looking at something and seeing it”, but it’s not just envisioning something that isn’t there; it’s also driving forward with passion and desire to take a medium and infuse something into your art with that medium that is beautiful, inspiring, emotional, shocking, funny etc. ~ Rodney Pike

We thank you very much, Rodney Pike for your insight in what you do and for sharing your story with UNIR1 and the rest of the world!  You are an amazing person and a very gifted caricature illustrator who has immense “face” value!

We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2012!

Sean and Ron on the set honoring Sean's 50th Birthday by Rodney Pike

To view more of Rodney Pike's fabulous works of art and to follow his fan page on Facebook & Twitter, Visit the links below!

Rodney Pike - Caricature Illustrator - Digital Photo Manipulator
Phone: 225.270.4000

Published by UNIR1®™ Radio © Jan 2012

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