1. Hey Ryan, thanks for joining us here at TutWow. To start off, why not introduce yourself by telling us your background and how you got started in your career?

Hello, my name is Ryan Boyle and I am a Motion Graphic Artist and Illustrator from sunny Florida.   Currently I create Motion Graphics and Animations for online courses for Full Sail, a local media college.   Basically I am the production pipeline, I take the raw scripts I get from instructors and turn them into visual pieces that are both entertaining and educational.   I am responsible for every aspect of production; filming, light set up, editing, art direction, asset creation, animating, and sound design.   I am responsible for producing about 9 to 12 video pieces each month.

During the beginning years of college, I formed and managed my own company creating unique displays for local store fronts.  From there I began to focus on dramatic black and white illustrations and storyboards that gave birth to many short films.  While attending UCF I was hired as an instructor to help teach the Compositing and Visual Effects course in the Computer Animation Degree at Full Sail.

Since college I’ve freelanced as a Storyboard Artist and Illustrator for several short films and music videos.  On top of storyboarding I have also worked as a freelance Editor, Producer, Compositor, 3D Camera Tracker, and Visual Effects Supervisor.

2. Your Sketchy Tutorials have quickly become some of the hottest tutorials on the net.  How do you come up with the ideas for them?

Well most of the ideas for my tutorials come from projects I’ve worked on, both for clients and personal projects.   As I work I take notes for myself , so I can always recreate the process down the road.  This was so helpful to me that I decided to post them on my site for others to use.   And ever since then I’ve been receiving requests for more tutorials. I’ve even had people send me some of their work that they did using my tutorials – its pretty cool.

3. When creating an illustration, what process do you go through to take it from start to finish?

Well that depends on the illustration – I have adopted many illustration styles and each has it’s own process.   For my most recent series “Giant Mutant Creatures”, I’d usually start by sketching out a few ideas then scanning the images I like into the computer.  Then I would create a very rough layout in Photoshop using simple shapes and colors.   Once I get the composition and colors the way I want them, I go back in and rebuild a lot of the elements like the arms, legs, eyes, etc. on separate layers.   By doing this I can make adjustments to each part of the character separately.

I use a lot of clipping masks on each layer to add color and shading.   The clipping masks in Photoshop allow me to move gradients and textures around without effecting my original shape.  Then  I can continue to make adjustments as I’m working on the illustration.   This really comes in handy when making eyes, I’ll make the pupil and place it in a clipping mask of the eyeball.  I can then change the position of the pupil at any point to make the character look in any direction I want, without having to recreate the entire eye from scratch.

My work tends to use a lot of textures in combination with gradients to create the shading.   I’ve found that by including textures it adds a more abstract and organic shading to my illustrations.  Of course because of this, my final Photoshop files usually end up being 5 or 6 gigs.  Just opening and saving the Photoshop file can take a good 15 – 20 minutes some times.

4. You’re an extremely talented motion graphics and illustration designer.  With all of this knowledge, are you still trying to expand your skills by learning anything new?

Thanks for the kind words.  Yes I’m constantly looking for new ways to build up my skill set – the industry changes so quickly that you have to continually push your skills to keep up with the newest trends and effects.   Plus I enjoy new challenges – projects that take you out of your comfort zone.  They provide the best learning experiences.   Currently I’m working on graphics and designs for a PDA game, which is a format that I’ve never worked with before.  You can imagine all the challenges I’ve run into.

5. I noticed that you like to use a lot of “sketched” or “hand-drawn” effects in your works.  What about this style draws you?  Do you think you’re an expert at it?  Why or why not?

Well I’m a doodler by nature, and I love the raw energy that the “sketched” effect has.   My work has always been quick and energetic.  I’ve found that by just trusting my instincts and keeping a clear mind when drawing I’ve come up with my best ideas.  Of course I create hundreds of concepts in the process, but it’s all worth it when I get that one great idea.

To be honest I’m probably my worst critic, and no matter how good my work becomes I’ll probably never consider myself an expert.   It keeps me in constant competition with myself and wanting to make my work even better.

6. I know that many designers these days are into these “inspirational showcase” sites. When you are in need of inspiration, do you turn to one of these sites or do you look elsewhere?

Well, I keep a huge collection of inspirational images on my computer.  I’m not kidding, the file is huge!  We’re talking gigs and gigs of hard drive space!   Even though I kept them all organized, it became impossible to find specific images quickly.  Recently I purchased  “Little Snapper” by Realmac Software and I’ve been using it to organize my image library. It’s been very helpful in that I can now add tags to each image and create smart folders to better locate certain inspirational images.

7. What advice do you have for anyone just starting out in the design/motion graphics world?

Oh sure – the first would be “don’t be afraid to make mistakes”.  Most of what has helped shape my art is all the mistakes I’ve made in getting to the final product.  Mistakes are the best learning experiences since you tend to remember what you did wrong, because you want to prevent it from happening again.

Networking is also vital – it can often be the key to landing a job in the industry.   If you know someone on the inside and they’re familiar with your work and work ethic, they’re more likely to recommend you when a job position becomes available.   Online forums are great for networking by participating in discussions. It’s also extremely beneficial to attend conferences in your field like Siggraph or the GDC.

8. Thanks again for taking the time to complete this interview.  As a final note, could you list any social networks where we can connect with you?

Sure, you can connect with me in the following social networks:

Twitter, http://twitter.com/sketchypictures
Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/sketchypictures/
LinkedIn; http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanboyle
Behance, http://www.behance.net/RyanBoyle

You can visit Ryan Boyle’s website/portfolio and see his work at http://www.sketchypictures.com/.