EP 36 – Fred Rambaud – Freelance Concept Artist and Illustrator – LiveLock, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Far Cry 4, Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk…

This episode of Syn Studio podcast features Fred Rambaud, a Montreal-based concept artist with experience designing characters, creatures, environments, vehicles and props for many well-known video games, such as Livelock, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Far Cry 4 and more. His work is also featured in the popular Cirque de Soleil performance, Toruk, a circus and acrobatic act strongly based on James Cameron’s Avatar. We discuss Fred’s journey around the world, how the industry has changed from since he began and his many tricks for taking on concept art as a career.

“It’s not because a famous guy online is doing it that you have to do it. You have to find the process that works for you, that makes it fun”

In This Episode…

Fred talks with Anthony and Stephen about his journey, the methods he used to become a concept artist, which programs to learn and some great advice for those who are starting out.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
[01:20] – From El Salvador to Norway to Singapore – Fred has worked and studied all over
[05:29] – The group talks about Fred’s first artistic inspirations as an eleven-year-old and how he initially aimed to work in Comics and Design
[14:36] – “You put yourself in that situation where you cannot fail” – Fred on how he taught himself ZBrush under pressure
[16:47] – Fred gives helpful advice to young artists who are deciding on which programs to use and discusses the latest program he is using – Fusion 360
[20:05] – The Babiru Project – Fred tells us about an indie art project he got the chance to draw for and the inspirations behind it
[23:37] – Fred’s top influences for his art, from the dark and gritty to Saturday morning cartoons
[28:57] – Freelancing vs. In-house work : how it is similar to Fred and why freelancing is becoming more popular with companies
[38:17] – The importance of posting on social media – and what you shouldn’t post
[41:17] – The talk turns to sketches: why they’re disappearing and why they are so important
[45:00] – Fred gives us some industry advice from pitching ideas to gauging what your boss/clients want + some of his favourite stories
[53:38] – Fred reveals his favourite video games – new and old
[57:43] – How Fred developed his art skills and network in a world with little to no internet
[01:07:43] – Fred tells us about working on Toruk for Cirque de Soleil and walks us through a day in his life
[01:16:27] – Fred reveals his specific “3 strikes” process to combat his artistic struggles
[01:33:33] – What is art? The group talks traditional vs digital mediums and the different types of “cheating”
[01:43:54] – “I came to Montreal, I showed them my portfolio and it was destroyed by everyone” Fred tells us about his first concept art portfolio review and what spurred him to improve
[01:50:38] – Women in video games: the misinterpretations and a few experiences Fred witnessed in his career
[02:06:23] – If Fred could go back in time and change his way of studying art, what would he change?
[02:19:44] – “Clients want professional people over famous people” – Fred gives us some last bits of parting advice

Links you’ll like…

Fred Rambaud:



Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


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