“I’ve always been kind of an opportunist. You have to be when you’re an artist.”
Ryan Woodward makes his living working as a story board artist on some of the coolest movies of our time (including Whedon’s Avengers and a couple of Spider-man films) while producing personal projects like his tear-jerking animated short Thought Of You which express and indulge his creative passions and inspire people all over the world.
Most recently, his visionary effort Bottom Of The Ninth gave the field of digital comics a big kick in the pants. Furthermore, Ryan loves his wife and kids and he is highly respected among his peers and fans.
In many ways, Ryan is an ideal Winger.
In Part One Of Our Interview With Ryan Woodward:
- Stories from his teenage artistic development and his art education.
- His passion for life drawing and how it served as his key to working in the animation industry.
- The early days at Warner Bros. Animation.
- …and how he managed to make the eventual jump from animation to live action.
- The differences between storyboarding for animation and for live action.
- How his career survived and thrived after moving out of LA.
“I think a lot of people would like to be more versatile or would like to move into different areas and really, the industry forces you, sometimes, to make those choices. …and that was the case when I was working at my first job, doing traditional animation. And I loved it. I absolutely loved it. But then, you know, ‘Toy Story’ came out…”
Ryan’s Thoughts Behind ‘Thought Of You’
We end this first part of the two-part interview with a discussion about ‘Thought Of You’ – the origins, it’s challenges and it’s worldwide success. Watch and weep, using the video player below…
“I’ll have students come to me and say, ‘I just can’t seem to get it on paper the way I want to. …and I look at ’em, I say ‘…and what makes you think that’ll ever change?’ …because that’s just the nature of the beast.
It’s why I like figure drawing. You sit down and have a problem to solve. You have a model in front of you and a blank piece of paper and there’s no formula, no absolutes. There’s not a right way or a wrong way. There’s no perfect way to do it. It’s all in this gray area and it’s all a matter of exploring that gray area.
Nine times out of ten, they’re gonna be pretty crappy drawings but that’s not really the point of figure drawing.
…because I find that a lot of it is exploring in that gray area and what your brain is doing, creating new, creative solutions that are different than you’re accustomed to. …when you’re doing comics or whatever.
When you sit in front of the model you’re forced to create all these new ways of thinking and problem solving… It’s really more of a brain exercise than anything.”
Listen To Part One Of Our Interview With Ryan Woodward:
“I’ve found that I’m more excited about seeing that an idea I had is realized on the screen rather than my actual artwork. It seems, at least now – maybe when I was younger [it was more about the artwork] – but now, when I see the idea unfold I’m like ‘Alright! They like my brain!'” -Ryan Woodward
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