I go by my given birth name of Rodney Dollah. Most people are surprised by this once they find out that this is my legal name lol. I was born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, Back of the yards is where I was born and raised throughout my earlier years of life.
When did you first start getting involved with your creative talents?
I have always been a person drawn to creativity. At the age of five, my uncle who at the time was somewhat of a known photographer brought me home a coloring book from the Art Institute of Chicago, along with a box of pastels, not the ordinary box of Crayons that I was adjusted to. It sounds funny but this experience helped shape my creative upbringing ever since. The unfamiliarity of these pastels given to me broke rules that I was unaware, was there. I was able to do things I didn’t know I could do with a tool. This was my first moment at experiencing artistic creation for myself. It was an amazing moment and one that I would soon come to feel over and over again throughout my career as an artist. I was later taken to the Art Institute for a show my Uncle was in and was then introduced to the workings and mechanics of a creative event, as well as behind the scenes and workings of the Art Institute. At that point, I knew I would become a creative professional of some sort. Growing up, I had issues with focusing on a single thing. This curse eventually became a tool for me and allowed me to experience and appreciate the many forms of creativity the world had to offer without any sort of pregadisemy that could hold me back from experiencing them fully. In 1983, Style Wars was broadcast on PBS and I was lucky enough to have caught it as it aired. I was playing around with spray paint for about a year before but didn’t know that there were so many others that took it as serious. The next evening, I snuck out of my house as my parents were sleeping and through up my very first burner. This is when I first found my independence as an artist and knew that from that point on that there was nothing else I would do with my life but have a hand in creating. From that point on I got into so many sides of art that I didn’t have to find a style, my style found me.
Towards the end of my High School years, I became a paid Illustrateur that had worked in fantasy and sci-fi games. I later went to work in advertisement and film as well as publishing. I have worked for companies such as Virgin Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, Microsoft, Milton Bradley and have worked with artists from Disney, Pixar, Lucus Entertainment and Marvel, just to name a few.
Currently, a couple of my focuses besides my current work as an artist have been placed on publishing books based on various forms of art and the other has been putting together creative based events such as gallery shows and interactive displays of art creation.
Over the years then, what has been your favorite show you curated/been apart of?
One of my personal favorite projects of mine is an ongoing project called Rodney Dollah’s Little Book Of Monsters. It’s a book that I had conceived while I was lending Brian Haberlin the co-creator of Witchblade and Digital Art Tutorials a hand. It is an Annual Art Book I organize and publish throughout the whole month of October to celebrate Halloween. With the help of Brian and support from James Obarr, the creator of the Crow, the very first volume came to life and was sold out fairly fast. As I mentioned, it is an ongoing project so Each year the book has a different theme based on it but always revolves around creating monsters with a driven scene of Halloween. Each volume has a slew of well-known guest artists from such industries as Film, Video games and comic books. Submissions are then open and excepted worldwide based on the theme of the current volume. The previous years excepted submissions along with the guest artists are then published with the release date of October 1st of each year. The submission process is usually open six months prior to this book release’s current open edition and all of the artists are promoted and discussed through the whole month of (October) Halloween. The big day though is when we announce the artists that made the cut for the following year’s Edition, which is announced on October 31st, Halloween The Book holds host to so many artists of various disciplines as well as backgrounds, they range anywhere from graffiti artists from Asia to fine gallery artists from Russia. These are the mechanics that make this book so special and has helped many artists get discovered. I hope to continue this journey for many years to come. More information about the project can be found on the companies Facebook page by searching, Little Book Of Monsters I also am the creative director and founder of Not My Comix, an international publishing house, geared to the discovery and assistance of the all so many unseen but amazing artists our world has to offer us. Our first published book can be found and purchased from the Oceanside Museum of art in California. You can get a sense of what we do by visiting our website at www.notmycomix.com and also please View our Facebook page for up to date happenings.
With no signs of slowing down in 2018, You recently said that this year you will be doing a handful of Chicago based projects. What can we expect from these?
I am also a big believer in my home city and the many different types of artists that it is home to. Over the years, I have been bringing artists together to share in each other’s form of creation in hopes of helping each other grow as artists as well as come together as a whole people of artists to bring Chicago, our city the respect it deserves as a city of unique and creative artists through art-related events, projects, and gallery shows. I believe It does not matter if you’re a graffiti artist or a fine artist, we all share in the creation and should share what we are with one another, these are all gifts that we possess and should also be shared amongst ourselves. I believe this is how you truly grow as an artist. The ego can be a good thing to have but it can also be a very distractive thing to posses as well.
When it’s all said and done how would you like to be remembered?
I guess when it’s all said and done, you have to take a look back and see what was achieved with the short amount of time a person posses in this reality and I believe the worst thing could possibly be, not to be remembered and just plain old forgotten. Being remembered through one’s actions plays a huge role in what the people of the future will take from you if seen and what I want to give is a means of unity for other artists to gain from. My actions are not mine alone but are actions that can and hopefully will be taken and shared by others.
If interested in viewing what I’m able to share with the public, you can visit the following links below,
Facebook: Little Book Of Monsters
Facebook: not my Comix
Facebook: Rodney Dollah