Nachshon (Nash) Rubel is a Character Designer and Animator.He has been working in the animation industry for 7 years on various projects including on Shows for Nickelodeon and Disney TV. He is currently living in Israel and working on International projects.
What is your background as an artist? What educational experience/background did you have coming into CGMA? Do you have professional experience?
I graduated from Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I studied traditional animation which also included the basics of character design, background design and storyboarding. My first few gigs were as an animator working for TV shows for Nickelodeon and Disney TV, but later on had a chance to design as well, and found myself focusing more and more on design and character design. I have also worked for a few gaming studios along the way.
Why did you decide to take CGMA classes?
My main objective for taking courses at CGMA was to improve and grow. Specifically I wanted to learn more about colors and strengthen my design skills. Taking online courses was the perfect solution for me since I was able to keep working in the industry, and to learn and progress on my own time. In addition, the fact that it's an online school made it possible for me to learn and draw inspiration from artists who aren't necessarily geographically close to me. Some of the artists I've been following, whose work I admire, actually teach at CGMA.
What classes did you take and why did you choose them?
I took Character Design for Production, Digital Painting and The Art of Color and Light.
I took Character Design for Production because I wanted to refine my skills and the outline of the course seemed great for that. In addition, it doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Nate Wragg's work and I felt that I could learn a lot from him. Character design is my main passion as an artist.
I took Digital Painting because I wanted to learn the fundamentals of digital coloring. Before this course I felt like this was the area that I needed to work on the most in order to get to the next level in my career.
Since I loved Digital Painting so much and felt that I wanted to learn more, I took The Art of Color and Light. The lectures were by Ryan Lang who I admired and the feedback I got from Thomas Brissot who was an excellent teacher. These days I feel much more comfortable with using color.
How did taking classes help you refine your craft and help you along your artistic journey?
I'm still on that journey so I think maybe in a few years I will be able to give a more accurate answer but for now it made me improve faster and to get where I wanted to be. It's not always easy finding a job as an artist, but I was always able to find a job. I think that those classes helped me and will help me in the future in getting better and bigger projects and be in a position to influence more.
What was your first big gig and how did you get it?
My first semi big gig was when I was still in college. I got hired as an animator to work on the first season of Jimmy Two-Shoes for Disney TV. The other significant one was as a designer on the show Zack & Quack for Nickelodeon. I think that getting hired for any job is a mixture of luck, timing, knowing enough people in the industry, being excellent in networking and having good skills. It might sound silly, but the other thing is to apply for jobs that you want, even if you get turned down sometimes.
Why would you recommend CGMA to another artist?
I would recommend to anyone in my position to take courses at CGMA because it's the perfect solution to learn from the leading artists of our industry from anywhere you may be in the world. I had a great experience and I think that in a very short time I managed to learn a lot. I also think that it's a fair price and the way I look at it in the long run it will pay itself back anyways. I will defiantly take more classes at CGMA, it's only a matter of timing.
Why is having professional feedback important to you?
I believe you must have some level of talent and mostly have to work really hard to become successful at what you do. But, even if you're talented and you work really hard, who you learn from is critical. It's true that ultimately whether you succeed or not is up to you. However a better teacher can get you further, and an average or bad teacher can really slow you down or mislead you. Some artists are great at figuring stuff on their own; I'm a big believer in feedback- for me it's the best way to progress as an artist. I was told by my teachers in college: "You don't know what you don't know". I think it's a great rule of thumb and getting feedback from experts in your field will make you grow so much faster. I think experimenting on your own is also important and has great value but it's something that should come after you've had some education and a solid level of understanding of your field.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It might sound like a cliché and it's something I need to constantly remind myself, but working hard and believing in yourself are the most important things. I don't think that you can really work hard if you don't believe it will get you somewhere and I don't think that you can get anywhere without working really hard. My inspiration comes from successful artist in my industry and most likely they all had to work really hard to get to where they are. I think I still have a long way to get to where I want to be but this is what helps me to keep at it.
We would like to thank Nachshon Rubel for sitting down with us and sharing his CGMA experience. To see more of Nachshon artwork you can visit his website at http://nachrubel.wix.com/myportfolio.