Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to catch a very inspiring talk at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium. The spea-ker was Rodney Fuentebella, senior visual development illustrator at Marvel Studios.
He talked about his work creating concept art for recent and upcoming Marvel movies like Captain America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant Man, Captain America: Civil War and the TV show Agent Carter.
To so many people in the audience, his job is the quintessential “dream job.”
Rodney showed us art from when he was starting out as a student to art from the last few years, which later translated to scenes from those films mentioned about.
Among some of the “plates” he showed us were: art for the action sequences in the small elevator in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, art with Loki having people on Earth kneel before him in Avengers, very detailed art of how the Iron Man suit would “wrap” and fit itself around Tony Stark in Avengers, art for the look of the prison scenes in Guardians of The Galaxy, and art for Groot and his floating light effects—all these followed by clips of the scenes as they came out in the movies.
I was truly dazzled, but there were other things about his 90-minute talk that inspired me as well:
1. Rodney stressed the value of being diligent. The man clearly has talent but he told us, what was by far the bigger component in all this was hard work—researching, observing, paying attention to details, generating ideas, hunkering down to drawing and designing, doing things over until it’s done right.
2. You get the drive to work hard by being passionate about what you do—“making what you want a part of you, and you a part of it.”
3. He added “being friendly” was also part of his work ethic as there are all sorts of people to interact with and learn from.
4. While not part of his talk, I saw the encouragement and support his family had given him. His parents kept boxes of his old sketchpads and his sister called attention to his abilities as an artist when he was very young.
His talk was put together by proud siblings based in Manila. Those of us who signed up for it had a merienda of seafood pasta and Cajun chicken sandwiches from Max’s, classic doughnuts and roving coffee from Krispy Kreme and refreshing banana and berry smoothies from Jamba Juice.
My friend who attended with me was inspired to update his Deviantart page and I was inspired to go home and take even more of an interest in what my son was writing, drawing, animating and editing on his computer.