PK 061: Randy Gaul on Why Now is Such an Exciting Time to be an Artist

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Randy Gaul took a long break from being an artist, but says it’s more exciting now than ever to be working in the creative industry

“You have to be able to do things a little differently these days, and that’s why it’s a lot of fun!”

~ Randy Gaul

Randy Gaul has worked with most of the major film studios in his long art career. However, after taking a break from art for more than 10 years, he says he’s more excited these days by what’s happening in the independent creative industries.

In this week’s podcast, you’ll find out how to kickstart your career after an extended break, and why now is such an exciting time to be a creative.

Randy Gaul: His Journey as an Artist

Randy Gaul graduated with a BFA in illustration from the Pratt Institute, NYC, before getting his first job in a print shop before trying to make it as a freelancer.

However, although he had regular work coming in, it wasn’t always enough to pay the bills. So Randy started teaching, which eventually led to 12 years of teaching woodwork before getting back into art almost by chance.

After working on some CD ROM titles for Disney initially, he was able to diversify and pick up new skills as a concept artist, texture painter and an animation artist.

Randy Gaul’s story is one of tenacity and staying true to his creative vision. He’s just finished work on his 56th film (excluding all the indie animation shorts he’s worked on), and he’s currently heavily involved in the exciting emerging world of Virtual Reality (VR), which is set to take the gaming and film world by storm soon.

Randy Gaul on the Creative Industry

Randy Gaul has worked with most of the major film studios, but he says he’s much more excited by what’s happening in the independent creative industries right now.

He says: “Lots of studios tend to crank out the same kind of work all the time. In order for me to be challenged, what’s going on in the indie film world is much more interesting than what major film studios are doing.

“A lot of artists out there want to tell new stories, but they get drawn back into franchises and don’t get to express themselves.”

“That’s why VR is so exciting. It’s an entirely new medium, with lots of exciting opportunities for artists. It’s a place where artists can find new challenges outside of the major studio system.

“I’ve been in talks with Google, Jaunt, Immersive 360, Digital Domain, and Occulus. There are some great new stories for projects coming from all corners of the world that are outside of the standard Disney of big studio model.”

Randy Gaul on Kickstarting Your Art Career After an Extended Break

Randy Gaul took a 12-year break  from art when he decided to become a woodwork teacher. Like he says: “It was better at paying bills than freelance work!”

However, when he was offered the chance to design covers for a Disney CD ROM project, he finally found a way to start making a decent living from what he really loved doing.

This led to more work, which led to more opportunities for him to develop his skills as an artist working in the film industry.

He says: “You’ve got to learn how to be diverse these days. You need to have a broad set of skills which can range from theme parks, games, matte painting, through to being a texture painter and animation artist.”

“You’ve got to have a real passion for what you do. That’s the thing that gets you out doing what you’re supposed to do.

Like many, many artists, Randy received countless rejection letters before getting his big break.

He says: “Tenacity is so important. It’s not just havng passion and skills to do this, it’s about hitting those roadblocks and solving the problems. You just gotta keep at it, at it, at it, and at it!”

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why there are so many opportunities for artists outside of the traditional big studio formula
  • How to stay committed and follow your true passion for art
  • Why tenacity is so important for you as an artist

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Cheers,

Mitch

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