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Rob Kaz

Surf Artist

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Rob Kaz

Celebration, Florida

Potent colors and engaging light are vessels I hope will bring you into the atmosphere of my paintings and leave your spirit wanting to stay. Quite simply, I want you to long to be in the painting, to take comfort and smile with a sense of whimsy, a sentiment in my paintings that can be contributed to my influential background in professional studio animation and video game art.

I approach each painting with a conscious sense of balance between earth and water - most of my paintings have water even if its existence is only implied. I find natural beauty and a soothing logic in water that meets land that I hope relates as emotions found in the viewer, even if not parallel to my own.

The signature is always the most complicated part of any painting because I find it extremely difficult to ever call a painting complete. But if you view my painting and find yourself there leaned against a palm on the shore while your mind authors a light rain or a curious butterfly taking flight before you, then I suppose a painting is never quite complete.


I admit that, ironically enough, the economy ultimately led to my serious pursuit of a career in painting. After being laid off from an animation studio shortly before its close, I took a short break to reflect on where I was in my life and career and where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to paint professionally, but the fear of being a starving artist took me to Electronic Arts Tiburon (EA).

Now, I balance two careers. For about six months out of the year, I am a video game artist at EA. For the rest of the year, I am an oil painter putting my visions on canvas.

At EA, I work on sports games including Madden and NCAA. For Madden, I have created the faces of Brett Farve, Tom Brady, Champ Bailey, Donovan McNabb and many other top name players. For NCAA, I have worked on the uniforms and mascots for many other college teams. For both games, I created the arm and leg skin and its movement for team players, a result that proved worthy enough of becoming the standard for other EA games, too.

The artwork I put on canvas is vastly different from the artwork I produce for EA. Rather than focus on the likeness of another, I allow my mind's eye to imagine. I imagine places I'd rather be and I imagine friends along the way. Those two categories, 1) Places I'd Rather Be and 2) Friends Along the Way, occurred naturally as I began building a body of work. In most cases, my paintings easily fall into one or the other (and sometimes both).

Follow Rob on Twitter (@robkazart)