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Submitted on
July 2, 2012
Submitted with Writer


1,745 (4 today)
19 (who?)
What is this Awesome Achievement?
The Deviousness Award is an accolade which is traditionally handed out
on the 1st of every month to one truly outstanding deviant.

The Deviousness Award for June 2012 goes to Rahll.

Before you continue to read his interview, I would like to give a special and personal thanks to Reid for his time; despite being inhumanly busy in the past weeks he still got the time to answer these questions. So thanks man!

Hi Reid! First off, if this was a job interview, how would you describe yourself?

If this was a job interview, I’d probably just let my work speak for itself to avoid any of those awkward moments that typically arise when you’re trying to impress someone who has the ability to pay you. Here’s art, I made it, you like? On the other hand, you asked me that question for a reason and I’d probably come off as a bit of jerk if I left it at that.

I could describe myself as a lot of things, but if I had to spit it out all at once, it’d probably be something along the lines of a nerdy, sci-fi enthused concept artist with a passion for lens flares and cinema. I hail from about 30 minutes north of Detroit, Michigan and I plan on moving out west in the next couple years.

Things have been going fairly well for me professionally, but I’ve made some of the biggest leaps in my career over the past year. It started with my work helping to design the control room in The Hunger Games, which was a huge opportunity for me. After that, I got some work with some independent filmmakers as well as the Moving Picture Company in London, and now I’m working with Warner Bros. on the new Wachowski movie Jupiter Ascending and things are going great. I love the people I’ve been working with and I couldn’t be happier.

You have the dream job of many young, aspiring artists, working for big names in the entertainment industry. Do you always wanted this? What has changed since you started to this day? Do you still enjoy doing what you do now compared to when you used to do it just for fun?

Since I was young, I’ve been in love with movies and games. I’m the type that watches and rewatches movies to dissect the scenes, special effects, and designs, or plays a game and takes 5 extra hours to beat it because I walk around the environments and stare at stuff. I also watch the living hell out of ‘making of’ specials for both movies and games.

I drew a lot as a kid, and I used to think about how cool it would be to work on films, but it never really seemed like an actual option. Growing up in Michigan, you’re just not subjected to the film industry much and Hollywood always seemed like some magical fantasy place that didn’t really exist.

So, I went through high school thinking I was going to be a writer, because I loved reading and writing as well as drawing. I just wanted to do something creative, and I enjoyed making things for others to enjoy. It wasn’t until near the end of high school that I started to realize I loved the visual aspect of creation far more than the written aspect, and it was my senior year that I kicked myself into high gear and decided, “Yeah, I’m gonna work on games and movies!”

Of course, it was kind of a bold statement and it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I suppose some small part of me thought it was just a pipedream, but I had to try. It’s been a pretty tough road getting to where I am now, a lot of let downs and frustration, but I don’t regret any of it. I love my job more every day and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The main thing that’s changed is that I now get paid to do things I’d be doing anyway, AND my work gets to be seen by millions of people all around the world. Whether it’s for my own personal pleasure, or professional, I simply love what I do.

Cindel by Rahll Building Trot by Rahll Glacial Epoch by Rahll Fade to Black by Rahll Spongebob by Rahll Masquerade by Rahll

From the initial idea to the finished product, is there anything in particular you enjoy the most about your creative process? What do you like the least?

I think my enjoyment of the process varies from painting to painting. I approach problems a little differently every time, so sometimes an enjoyable part of the process turns into an annoying part, or vice versa. I would say though that my favorite part of working on an image is somewhere in the last 20%. It’s that moment where the thing goes from being a bit of a mess and not really working completely to all of a sudden coming together and looking the way you envisioned it from the beginning. That home stretch of polishing and detailing I think is the most fun to me. There’s also the early sketching phases that are a blast, but those are sometimes as frustrating as they are fun.

The thing I’d say I like the least is anything that’s overly technical. Sometimes the cost of doing a really realistic painting is that you end up not doing a lot of actual painting. You spend time making selections, gradations, applying textures, warping stuff, etc. It can become really tedious and cumbersome, but the end result is always worth it.

How would you define your relationship with the DA community? Do you consider it has influenced and/or inspired you in any way? If so, how?

I hate to say it, but I’ve become a bit of a ghost on dA over the past year or two. The time I used to have for the site is eaten up by working all the time, but I don’t love it any less than I used to. I definitely wish I had more time for the community, so I try to post work and help people out whenever I can, especially because it’s been such a huge influence on both my work and career.

My discovery and use of dA coincided heavily with my first foray into digital art, and the site, community, and artwork were all super influential on my evolution as an artist. Almost all of my early commissions came through dA in some way (in fact I still get freelance work through the site), and I’ve made a lot of incredible friends here. In fact, I met my best friend DanLuVisiArt through the site something like 5 year ago. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

"Rahll is not only a brilliant artist but also a wonderful friend, guide, support and mentor. Anyone who is lucky enough to get to know him on a more personal level will see exactly what I mean. Friendly and outgoing, not only has he added great value to the industry but he's also added immeasurable value to this website and especially to the lives of many deviants who have had the pleasure of communicating with him on whatever topic - art, politics, science, anything.

Reid Southen is a jewel of an artist. He is an amazing person. He puts others miles before himself and he treats everyone he meets with dignity and love. I am so proud to say I know him. He more than deserves this. He always had.

"I still remember the day I met Reid, we were at a critique night event at a chatroom and when the event was over, I asked him for help with a piece and he kindly adviced me. Needless to say, he has been by my side ever since helping me and being awesome all along. I consider Reid to be one of my guiding lights, he inspires me to be just like him, a great artist, friend and the impersonation of selflessness. You can always count on him for anything, he will go out of his way to help anyone even if he doesn't know them at all, it's in his nature to be kind and anyone who gets the chance to have Reid in their life should be grateful and happy, for they have a real treasure!"

"Rahll is one amazingly hard working and talented individual. He managed to pull off one of the hardest things to do from Detroit. He broke into the film industry. Between breaking into the industry and work, somehow he still found time to contribute to the DA community and share his awesome work. This is one Deviousness Award well deserved and given. Congrats bro."

"Reid and I go way back. I've been watching him paint for years. By the time I finally mustered the courage to talk to him, he'd already gained a substantial amount of popularity on DeviantART. He was quick to respond. When he did, I was pleasantly surprised to find a humble, encouraging, and selfless human being who was happy to help others out with their own work, no matter what level they were at. We quickly became close friends. If you want to know who Reid is, you need not look any farther than his front page. He's spent hours of his own time and even money to help others. When my laptop's screen broke, he bought me a refurbished gateway with enough juice to run Photoshop. When one of his friends needed surgery, he called upon the community and raised enough money to pay her bills. He regularly hosts livestreams and is happy to share his techniques and brushes with the masses. That's the kind of guy Reid is. I'm so fortunate to have stumbled across him-- I can't think of anyone more talented or deserving of this award."

If you were in a parallel dimension and you were a girl... do you think you would be pretty?

Absolutely. I already have the long, luscious locks of hair. Actually, forget the whole parallel dimension thing, I could just shave my entire body and... uh... next question.

You received this month's Deviousness Award. How do you feel about this?

I was totally taken aback. I was actually in Australia visiting my girlfriend when I found out, which made the whole thing even more surreal. I never really expected to receive Deviousness, but it’s quite an honor to get that sort of recognition, especially from such a massive community. It definitely put a smile on my face all month long.

An interview with June 2012's Deviousness Award Recipient: `Rahll
Add a Comment:
Rahll Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wanted to say thanks again for the interview and to everyone else! :D
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012
Thanks to you man! :highfive:
RCWikkydArtist Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Very well-done interview! Good questions, great arrangements of images, and nice use of text

To :iconrahll: once again congratulations on the award! And congratulations on all your achievements! :clap:
alexandrasalas Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I can't think of anyone more deserving of Deviousness than him. He's amazing. :D
CypherVisor Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012
A clean interview! :D

Nice job! :hug:
CleWeR Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh no everyone loves Reid?
Sorry, being your friend is too mainstream now.
Rahll Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I don't like you anyway Clemens :\
mitazu08 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
tl;dr ...but wait, I've read every single word XD! Very well done! :clap:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012
TimberClipse Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Very nice interview! Thanks, and congratulations!
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