Zooppa Featured Member: Joseph Rothenberg



Our newest featured member, Joe Rothenberg is passionate about animation and video games! If you’ve checked out his winning video for LensCrafters you’ll understand. After studying at USC where he learned how to collaborate with other animators, Rothenberg developed a career splitting time between video games and animation. Having never heard of Zooppa before this project we are happy to welcome this Zoopper to the community!

Check out more of his work and read the full interview below!


Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.

I really like to make stuff, and in particular to entertain people with my two passions: animation and video games. I’ve been creating cartoons and games since I was 4 or 5 years old and I’ve been active in both industries for about 3 years now.

What brought you to the Zooppa community?

I had never heard of Zooppa until a Zooppa campaign manager named Clarette saw my work on Vimeo and reached out to me. I checked out the site and thought, “hey, this looks great!” and submitted for the pure fun of it.

What do you like most about crowdsourced illustration contests?

You as a creator have total creative freedom. You get to create your vision for a brand’s marketing and they can take it or leave it. There aren’t too many other opportunities out there to have that kind of creative control.

Name 3 animators that have influenced your work.

As an animator, I was hugely influenced by the old Looney Tunes cartoons of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, and Friz Freleng. I also love the anti-animation of Jay Ward’s cartoons in the 60’s like Rocky & Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right.

Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your illustrations?

The University of Southern California. I got to work on more than half a dozen short films while I was there, which helped hone my craft. I also learned how to collaborate effectively with other animators and crew.

What is your favorite genre of art to create?

Comedy! I like comedy that appeals to adults and kids on multiple levels.

Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?

Probably working, but if no projects are in panic mode, I’m usually hanging out with my girlfriend and/or a few friends. I like GameHaus Café in Glendale, which is this really great little place with hundreds of board games for you to try.

Choose 5 words to describe your art.

Simple, pointless, silly, absurd, cheerful.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m developing a pilot for Nickelodeon that is nearly complete, but I can’t say much about it other than I hope it’s good. I’ve also got a couple of apps in the works.

What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the prize money, the love for the brand?

I liked that it was comedy-centric and had a message I could get behind. As someone who stares at a screen for upwards of 10 hours a day, I can say that people really should take care of their eyes! And the prize money didn’t hurt.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?

Make sure that you understand what the client wants and give it to them, and make it your own.

10 years from now where will we see you and your illustrations?

Probably the internet, maybe virtual reality which is being heavily invested in right now. But if you’re seeing my films at all, I’ll be happy.

Check out more of Joe’s work on his website, and YouTube channel.

Colette Marien

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