Featured Artist

Humorous Illustration: An Interview with Rodney Pike

If you are a fan of famous faces and illustration, you will love the work done by Rodney Pike.  You may even particularly like the Mr. Bean Collection or various funny caricatures of Bill Murray, President Obama,  Michelle Obama and others.  Rodney has used his work to illustrate political satire for magazine articles and most recently illustrate articles for the website Marijuana.com.

Here are just a few of his caricatures:

Rodney Pike is called a Humorous Illustrator and uses Photoshop to manipulate photos into funny caricatures. He has a lifetime of experience in Fine Art and Graphic Design and Digital Illustration.  He is all over social media and has over 2.5 million followers on Google Plus.

He offers Photo-Manipulated Illustrations of all sorts and specializes in Photo-Manipulated Caricature Illustration, Humorous Illustration and Political Satire, perfect for magazines, books, etc. His clients include companies such as FHM Magazine, Tennis Magazine, The Village Voice Magazine, Corbis, The Sun, Cater’s News Agency, The Huffington Post, Bauer Media, Bauer Excel Media, Mashable, EMagazine, Global News, Metro World News, Miller Publishing Group, WeedMaps, marijuana.com, New Coast Productions and Catchphrase Entertainment. He is a member of the ISCA and NAPP.

On his Blogspot, Mr. Pike offers great insight into his craft.  Take for example, Mr. Pike’s Caricature study of the Rolling Stones.  Here is what he writes from his Blogspot:

∫ A Caricature Study of the Rolling Stones. © Rodney Pike.

∫ A Caricature Study of the Rolling Stones.
© Rodney Pike.

“These guys are great caricature subjects. Every one of them has a load of character. They all have really interesting features begging to be exaggerated. I consider this a mild caricature. I typically exaggerate a little more and put the head on a smaller body, but since I was using the existing bodies from the source pic, I tamed it just a bit. I’ve wanted to do these guys for a long time but hesitated because I thought it would be an enormous amount of work but it wasn’t bad at all. I completed it in one evening. They were a lot of fun and I’ll have to do more of them in the future. This manipulation was inspired by Sebastian Kruger’s caricature works of the Stones. He became quite attached to the group and did numerous caricatures and paintings of them especially Keith Richards. His works range from super realism to extreme caricatures and usually on a huge scale. I can’t do justice to them like Kruger. His paintings of The Stones are amazing.”

∫ This is the source pic I used: Photographer Mark Seliger

∫ This is the source pic I used: Photographer Mark Seliger

“These guys were really fun to do and a great learning experience. Practice, practice, practice. I’m determined to get good at this. I read an interesting quote today that kind of sums it up, getting good at something I mean. I don’t know who it’s by but I thought it was really cool and answers the question that a lot of people have about whether or not they can achieve a certain goal. “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?” That says a lot because I believe anyone can achieve their particular goal if they have enough passion for it and are willing to go as far as it takes to reach it. Well, time to call it a day. I hope you enjoyed.”

Mr. Pike was kind enough to grant Featured E Magazine this exclusive interview.

Rodney, how did you get started in photo manipulation?

I started in 2010 doing Photoshop contests for FreakingNews.com. My favorite subject to create these absurd photo-manipulations around was Mr Bean by Rowan Atkinson. It was just for fun at first but there were cash prices for the contest winners. I did very well there and earned enough money from the contests to hire a lawn maintenance crew to do my yard.

I thought that was great and never thought it would go any further. A few months in, I decided to try something I had never seen before which was a caricature done with Photo-manipulation. The technique caught on and my work sort of went viral that first year. After only doing a few practice caricatures, I was contacted by FHM magazine with Bauer Media in the UK to do a 5 piece commission for the magazine. This was a game changer. I realized that day that I had stumbled into a new career and a fun one at that.

What is one of the most memorable projects that you produced?

I guess the most memorable project I worked on was a complete movie deal with Catchphrase Entertainment and New Coast Productions out of LA. I did everything from the posters to DVD wrap, and all promotional material used for the movie. The movie was called California 90420.

Is there any special programs that you use to get the effects you desire?

I work on an iMac and I use a 22″ Cintiq Wacom which is awesome. My software of choice is Photoshop CC. There are a couple of other pieces of software that I use like the Topaz filter collection but for the most part, Photoshop can handle it all. Photoshop CC has great capabilities and is loads of fun. There’s truly a lifetime of learning with this program. I’m constantly developing new techniques and effects.

What are some of the clients that you have characterized over the years?

I’ve done far too many to mention but there is one that stands out for me, the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. I did a collaboration with a Danish photographer who had done a photo shoot with him previously. He shot the pics, I did the caricature at very high-resolution and the photographer went to Brazil for the author’s birthday and presented the original to him as a gift. He also brought along two copies which the author personalized and signed for us. It brings back fond memories when I see it hanging on the wall.

Your craft incorporates photography, illustration and humor. How do you typically approach a project?

I approach every project the same way. I never do much if any planning for a job. I go into it totally open-minded with not a lot of thought about how to approach it really. I never know what direction I’m going to go with any project until I see the source photos that I will be working with. I just let the images speak to me and lead me wherever it leads me. Unconventional methods maybe, but they work for me.

Do you get any personal portrait requests from famous people?

Not nearly enough. Maybe I’ll pick some up after this interview. 🙂

What projects are you working on now?

I’m presently contracted out with Weedmaps and marijuana.com to do illustration work, social media and SEO for their many websites and ventures. It’s a fun gig and great people to work with.

Resources and Links

Rodney Pike Website
Rodney Pike on Deviantart
Twitter Page
Facebook
Rodney Pike – BlogSpot
Google Plus
Google Plus Business
Rodney Pike on Photigy


profile_picture_by_rodneypike-d5x5f5d

Rodney Pike lives in Louisiana and works as a humorous illustrator. He has a lifetime of experience in Fine Art and Graphic Design and Digital Illustration. He works on Photo-Manipulated Illustrations of all sorts and specializes in Photo-Manipulated Caricature Illustration, Humorous Illustration and Political Satire, perfect for magazines, books, etc.


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