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>Rad Sechrist Recap

First off, we’d like to thank Rad for coming in on short notice. It was great to have him as a guest, and he shared some terrific advice.

One of the recurring messages was that we should never stop learning or trying to improve. Even when his first story tests were being rejected by studios, Rad said that he would try to find someone in the studio to give him a critique on his test so that he could improve. He told us to never stop taking classes and learning new things.

In terms of advice about becoming better at storyboarding, Rad underlined the importance doing studies from the classic 2D model sheets and learning how great characters are constructed. He also mentioned doing studies from classic 2D films to learn how to animate expressions like the greats did (Milt Kahl, for example). He said that 2D characters are designed to have excellent movement and flow, both in facial features and body parts.

It was also interesting to hear about the ways different story artists work, how one person can visualize the entire sequence in his head, then draw it, while another person will see the sequence unfold as he draws it. Rad mentioned his surprise at seeing how slowly and deliberately some of the story artists draw, even though their work looks fast and gestural. He said that in the long run, your drawing process will be faster if you take the time to think about a mark before you put it down.

As far as portfolios go, Rad suggested making sure that we have a sequence of 100 or so frames, with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. In terms of career and life advice, Rad said that the key is to never stop learning, and to find the thing that you can’t stop doing. For him, it’s drawing. He also mentioned advice he received from another artist, who told him to change up what he’s doing every five years, whether it’s the method or the concentration (character, story, vis dev). That way, things stay fresh and interesting, and you become a very versatile artist.

Rad also has some great tutorials on his how-to blog, Rad How-To.

In our weekly drawing contest, Rad chose Paul Cohen’s drawing as the winning entry for the prompt word, “waiting.” Congratulations to Paul, and thanks again to Rad for speaking with us!

Paul Cohen
Jocelyn Liang
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