Welcome to the first entry in an ongoing interview series in which we’ll speak with superbly talented animator/director RUFFMERCY about the music videos he’s done for House Shoes and Danny Brown, ScHoolboy Q, Sene, Blu, Versis and Dibiase, and more. To start things off, we have a quick introductory Q&A with the self-proclaimed “brokest animator alive” before diving into his unbelievable clip for Blu and Flying Lotus’ “BNG”. Start reading below.
For those us unfamiliar, give us a quick run down on who RUFFMERCY is, what does he do and why is he so ill?
RUFFMERCY is an ol’ has-been-assed animator. The brokest animator alive working on ANIMATED FUCKERY mainly in music videos, tryin’ to make some noise, and work with artists that inspire me.
Now a RUFFMERCY video isn’t similar to any other video around in hip-hop. Having your logo in a video is a guarantee that mind-blowing dopeness will follow. Few have imitated but nobody can recreate your style. How would you describe your style?
Ruff. Rugged. Raw.
Where did you learn to animate like this, is it safe to assume you were into art as a kid? Did you go to school for this?
Yeah, I was always drawing as a kid and during all my classes at school I’d always be doodling something rather than listening to the teacher. I had no other choice but to continue with art. I didn’t even consider if it wasn’t gonna happen; it just always was. After school I studied illustration at college, which led me to dabbling in stop-frame animation using a video camera.
I made short experimental animations this way. After college I landed a job as a producer/director at MTV Europe. I spent a few years there directing titles sequences and promos in the on-air dept. MTV was my Masters. We just got to experiment with all sorts of styles and techniques and we pretty much got away with murder.
I’m assuming you use Adobe’s Illustrator for your animations. Is that something you learned in a formal school settings or were you self taught?
I use Adobe Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and also Final Cut, all of which were self taught after college. I have been learning on the job. You gotta keep on learning otherwise you become stagnant. Keep learning and evolving is my motto. Plus the most important rule: There are no rules. All the greats break all the rules.