Robert Rucker

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What is your name and your current occupation?
This is Robert Rucker I am a Background Artist in Animation.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I did art direction work for an ad agency a decade ago. I wore many hats to save the company money. Including Art Direction I performed as an Illustrator and a Graphic Designer.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I was proud to work on “The Proud Family”, “Loonatics Unleashed” and “High School USA”. They were major gigs in animation and some one thought I was good enough to join those teams.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Michigan and I got in by testing for “Duck Soup” where I was fortunate to work under animator Layron DeJarnette. His supervision taught me a lot. He noticed that I was also good with environments, and He brought me aboard Disney’s “The Proud Family”.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
It always depends on the amount of items in a background that determines wether or not a design is Complex or Simple. Based on clear direction I Can usually get two to three backgrounds roughed out a day.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like it when I do roughs before the image becomes a clean drawing. The reason why is because of the freedom you get when you can draw very loosely.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
What I like least is when I Have to discard my ideas. The reason why because some ideas could help in consistency. Unfortunately time and budgets are the deciding factors on a project.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
I use Wacom products with computers like most of us animation artist, and I believe every artist should be in touch with pencil and paper. A great co-worker of mine keeps his sketch book with him at all times. That is what has impacted me, to sketch on paper every day.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
 Preparing for a season to end in the midst of working.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
My brushes with greatness have been meeting great people like: Rich Arons, Lionel Ordaz, Layron DeJarnette. Observing their techniques.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Finding a Job in the early part of the 21st century.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Not at this point.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I am interested in voice acting and I am capable of doing at least three different voices.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business? 
Three things to learn: Anatomy of Humans and Animals, Perspective Drawing, The current softwares commonly used (Adobe Flash and Photoshop).
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