Concept Art World was in attendance at Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX) last weekend and we were fortunate enough to meet some of the concept artists, animators and illustrators behind RWBY, Rooster Teeth Production’s newest animated web series. The first episode of RWBY premiered at RTX 2013 on July 5, 2013 and on Sunday, the RWBY art panelists gave us a sneak peak preview of how some of the art behind the web series was created. Below, is an interview we had with RWBY concept artist Ein Lee (currently doing freelance work for Rooster Teeth Productions), along with the art that she worked on for the series.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (specifically what past projects you have worked on, if and where you went to school)?
I’ve been freelancing regularly since my late high school years and more notably have worked on several storybooks with French publisher nobi nobi! and am currently doing illustrations for Rage of Bahamut. As for school…all over the place! Grew up in the states, Thailand, and Taiwan.
What is your current job title with Rooster Teeth Productions?
Artist in limbo.
Who is the mastermind behind the RWBY web series and how did you get involved?
Monty Oum of course. He contacted me after the idea for RWBY spontaneously appeared in his head. He told me he’d been following my Deviant Art account for a while and asked me if I wanted to do some character designs. Who would say no?
Can you tell us a little bit about the RWBY webs series? (plot, story, characters, etc)
The one rule for the series is that everyone must be badass. The rest you’ll have to see for yourself.
Did you work on many of the concepts solo or was it a team effort?
Team effort. Some of the characters were just ideas bounced between Monty and me, where he’d give me a description and I’d sketch up a few ideas, or I would suggest some ideas. Of course, many more characters came from his brainstorming with other people.
Did you create most of the concepts digitally or did you opt for more traditional methods (ie. Pencil/notepad vs Wacom pen tablet)?
Most of the concepts were done digitally, the only exceptions being small idea sketches done during commutes or class. Traditional or digital doesn’t make much of a difference to me, just whatever’s at hand whenever I have an idea.
Of all the designs that you created for RWBY, are there any that are your favorites? Why?
Of the four main girls, my favorite design-wise would be Weiss. She’s so delicate, and I love princess types. My favorite for all of RWBY (there are a LOT of characters) so far cannot be revealed yet!
What types of inspiration did you seek in order create some of the concepts for RWBY?
Colors, people, google image search, Monty’s drawings, Monty’s google image searches…
Fashion (for lack of better word) is also a big thing when designing characters, because how people dress– down to the littlest detail—gives many subtle (and some not so subtle) hints about who they are. It’s all about giving the characters a unique and memorable look that people can still identify with.
Of the four girls, Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang, which of them did you enjoy working on the most?
Weiss. Her design process was very smooth. Ruby was pretty much designed already and Blake took a little while to find the right look for.
Are there any future projects that you as an artist, apart from Rooster Teeth, are working on?
More storybooks, and lots of other fun stuff.
Where can we see more of your art and concepts?
My website is einlee.net, and deviantart is einlee.deviantart.com.
Are any of your works available for sale?
Yes, on my site store you can find artbooks and prints for sale.
Beginning today July 18, 2013, episode one of the first season of the RWBY series can be seen on Rooster Teeth’s website. Be sure to check it out!