Artist Interview: Rogie King on Bacon, Wall-E, and Hateration as Inspiration

NeonMob co-founder Rogie King is a prolific artist and designer — frequently whipping up limited-edition series over a lone weekend or handful of evenings. Fascinated by his work ethic and seemingly endless artistic output, we pinned him down to ask him a few questions about his creative process, inspiration, and how he settles on a series idea.

Why bacon?
Why not bacon? Seriously, though, bacon is one of the most delicious magical meats that stands on its own. It may not be obvious, but the original inspiration behind the character (in this series) was based in the whole haters-gonna-hate culture. 

I absolutely love bacon, but I felt it was getting a bad rap lately. Living in Montana, its a quite different culture than big city culture. So, naturally, we love our bacon, some people are anti eating meat, which I’m cool with, but because I felt bacon eaters were getting some flack, Mr. Bacon/Haters Gonna Hate emerged. 

Why a Wall•e series?
Well, let me tell you… have you seen Wall•e? One of the most beautiful, nearly wordless love stories made, but dat Wall•e right? He’s the most adorable, selfless little robot out there. I think we need to shine a brighter spotlight on the selfless ones. 

What’s the inspiration behind these limited sets?
Few... few I say! know that I am a Disney nut. I’m also a collector and collect Disney Pins. Theres a little Disney store called the Disney Soda Fountain in Hollywood that makes extremely limited edition stuff. I’m talking like LE150 pins when the typical pins at Disneyland are like LE3000+/Unlimited. 

They’ve got this amazing little idea that collectors go gaga for called the “Pin Trader Delight”:

So these little pins sell like hot cakes until all four sell out. Then, a “flip” happens, revealing the next four mystery pin trader delights. It builds lots of anticipation as well as collectors love the challenge of trying to complete their collections, be it a favorite movie, cats, all of the ice cream pins, etc. 

The extreme limited availability of these things as well as the fact that the characters are very obscure at times (typically most pins available in the parks are of the very popular characters) make them fan favorites.

My thought was to make very small series that sell out very quickly, thus demanding people snatch them up quickly, building a similar anticipation…what series is next? What character?!

What’s your creative process like?
Completely scattered. Most final pieces tend to be based on a really horrible sketch that somehow, I become enamored with and find the spare minutes to slowly digitally paint in the evenings. A typical workflow would be:

1. Really really rough sketch to establish the spirit of the piece
2. Redraw, redraw, redraw…scream, yell, kick, cry…wait a day…hate it…redraw…repeat
3. Paint basic colors (no need to pick perfect colors….just pick a basic yellow, whatever) on logical layers (body, eyes, left hand, right hand)
4. Paint texture, shadow on the layers 
5. Bring all layers together, adjusting, adding shadow, depth as needed
6. Play with color values: hue, saturation, levels, overlaid colors…for. like. ever.
7. Let it sit for a few days
8. Add a few more finishes
9. Finished? Don’t really know.