After his post-graduation hopes of working for the government in criminal justice came to a halt with a hiring freeze, fate stepped in and Rob began working for a number of small animation studios in the Central Florida area. Because Disney had recently closed their Florida-based animation studios, Rob found himself working "alongside quite possibly the most talented artists I've ever known, right there in those small studios. Their influence proved invaluable." ......
A self-trained artist, Rob Kaz grew up in New Jersey where he enjoyed surfing, skating and hockey. After many cold and snowy winters, Rob sought warmer weather when deciding on a college and wound up in Orlando where he earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida (go Knights!).
After his post-graduation hopes of working for the government in criminal justice came to a halt with a hiring freeze, fate stepped in and Rob began working for a number of small animation studios in the Central Florida area. Because Disney had recently closed their Florida-based animation studios, Rob found himself working "alongside quite possibly the most talented artists I've ever known, right there in those small studios. Their influence proved invaluable."
As his career continued to take a new direction with animation, Rob had the opportunity to work in many areas of film production. In particular, the time spent in character creation and environments heavily influenced his painting style.
For some time, Rob worked as a character artist for Electronic Arts (EA Sports Tiburon), one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises. While at EA, he created human likenesses in games such as Madden NFL football and NCAA® Football.
When Rob took a leap of faith and began his fine art career, he knew one thing for certain. "I want people to be happy when they look at my work, so I create stories that personally make me smile or laugh. But I also want people to notice the technical side of my paintings. I put a lot of emphasis on lighting, composition and color when I paint. I think all of these aspects ultimately play a factor in deciding the emotional outcome of a finished painting."
When Rob paints, he imagines "places he'd rather be" and he imagines "friends along the way." Both are recurring themes throughout Rob's body of work and thus his paintings easily fall into one of the two categories (if not both). One particular "friend" is Beauregard the frog. Since his inception with "Hey You" and "Hey Me," Beau has appeared in every single painting Rob has created. If a painting is not focused solely around Beau, Rob will often times hide him in the painting … a fact that fans have latched onto and seem to have a lot of fun with in being the first to find him in the release of each new painting.
Today, Rob's work is a mirror of his background in animation. Rob is one of only a few artists granted the unique opportunity and license to paint Disney films (he is a Legacy artist with Disney Fine Art). "I am one of the biggest fans of animation art you'll meet and being able to paint Disney is really an honor," he says. "I have had the privilege of working with many Disney artists and they inspired me to make the transition from animation to fine art." With each Disney painting he begins, Rob sets the ultimate goal. "I want to have the story creators and animators of the movie see my work and give a thumbs-up. In no way do I wish to dishonor their masterpieces."
Rob has held many jobs - candy maker, movie projectionist, bike repairman and bar back - but by far this is the happiest he's ever been … being an artist.
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.