Arash Rod is an accomplished professional character designer and animator in the fields of animation, video game production and social media / app design. He has an extensive background in illustration for magazines, books, and seminars and his artwork has been showcased at various galleries. Arash has been recognized as a cartoon artist, character designer, and animator, whose work especially appeals to young audiences. He uses many different artistic approaches, such as caricatures, story boards, animations, illustrations and posters suited for entertainment business. He also utilizes a range of graphic styles, from realistic to simple designs, with a versatility that can adapt to any subject or idea.
Arash started drawing cartoons at the age of 12. His interest in cartoon illustration continued to grow when he got a chance to showcase his work in a gallery in 2000 as a guest artist with the team of cartoonists called the White Crow. Also, one of Arash’s works was selected for the 5thTehran International Cartoon Biennial in 2001 at the Museum of Modern Art in Tehran as well as at the 6th International Cartoon Biennial in 2003 at The Niavaran Cultural Center. Arash obtained his Bachelor of Art in Industrial Design in Tehran, which was followed by working as an intern at the Iran Khodro company to design concept cars. Later, in 2005, Arash was offered the opportunity to do an illustration test for the health magazine Salamat, which landed him his first job as an illustrator, allowing him to follow his illustration career at the age of 22. Arash started his MFA degree in Animation at the University of Art in Tehran, where he became involved with various animation projects. During his studies, he also started to work as a level designer for the video game Mir-Mahna at Espris Pouyanama as well as in creating promotional artwork. Before working on his first short animated film, Cute, Arash became involved in other short films such as Beetle the Little as a voice actor and Kermando as the only clean-up artist for Barfi Studio in Tehran. As his thesis film, Arash Rod made his first animated short film entitled Cute in Barfi Studio, which later became one of the Official Selections for the International Film Festival in Tehran.
After obtaining his Master's degree in Animation, Arash continued his studies in 2D animation while obtaining a Master's from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. During this time, Arash Rod submitted his artwork to the famous talk show host Conan O'Brien, which got the show runners' attention. People from the Conan Show presented Arash Rod's illustrations exclusively in their special gallery for Conan's live performances in New York, Chicago and his Comic-con appearance in San Diego in 2011. The collaboration between Arash Rod and the Conan show extended to Vending machine artwork design, T-shirt design and even post cards. His illustrations were also featured on the Conan Show on national television several times.
In addition to his collaboration with the Conan Show, Arash Rod has been part of many promotional projects for Wacom products, the San Francisco Giants, and creature design contests at Helpful Bear Productions. He also helped other artists with collaborative projects as a layout artist, illustrator and character designer. Given the level of his talent, Arash was asked to develop the storyboards and animatics (animated storyboards) by one of his teachers for a pilot to pitch to the Nickelodeon network. Dedication to his graduate studies, Arash also designed a cartoon character as the mascot for his department, which garnered the attention of the school press and social media companies in the Bay Area. During this time, Arash Rod made his second short film The Grrreat Death for the 2D animation department, which was selected as one of the top 3 animated shorts at the Spring Show of the Academy of Art. After obtaining his Masters, Arash then produced several illustrations for different seminars and special occasions. Based on his heightened recognition in the industry, Arash was recruited by Studio X, founded by teachers from the Academy of Art University, to be the organization’s Art Director for the 3D animated show, Foodiecats, as the exclusive Junior Giants product, sponsored by The San Francisco Giants.
With his talent in high demand, Arash Rod was hired as the Lead Artist at GameOn, a company that is known for creating the popular sports social media app (GameOn), which brings together sports fans from around the world for the latest news and promotes athletes, celebrities, sports clubs, and others in the industry. Some of the big highlights of his work for GameOn have included Arash’s collaboration with influential people like Joe Montana, Snoop Dogg, Earl Stevens (E40), Gary Payton, Lawyer Milloy, Syndey Leroux, T.J Ward and Ronnie Hillman, among others. Arash Rod has also worked with athlete/broadcaster Lorenzo Neal on several videos for GameOn commercials as the co-host. Aside from his work for GameOn, in the Summer of 2016, Arash Rod had an exclusive gallery show for 3 months at the Bryant Building in San Francisco.
Later, in 2017, GameOn started designing exclusive chat bots in chat platforms such as Facebook messenger, Slack, Telegram, Kik, Skype and Discord for well-known sports club including Arsenal, ATP and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Arash Rod was in charge of creating the popular animated bots and characters as AI (e.g. Robo Pires for Arsenal and Zee Wolf for the World Cup) for the users to interact with. The company has also collaborated with famous athletes and sports anchors including former NBA star Gary Payton and Sky Sports host Jeff Stelling in designing exclusive chat bots for their followers. Arash Rod has made their characters as animated bots to interact with these and other celebrities’ followers. The latest collaboration was with PUBG, which is the creator of one of the most popular online battle royal games named PUBG. Performing a lead role for GameOn, Arash has made animated content for PUBG exclusive chat bots on Facebook and Discord.
Currently, Arash Rod is leading the design of the graphics for GameOn’s latest bot project called Streek, which is still in development. For this major project, he is developing Daily Cartoon bots which will deliver daily news in cartoon format to users. Besides his collaboration with prominent sports franchises, sports celebrities, and video game creators, Arash has led GameOn’s merchandise design, creating exclusive, custom artwork for hats, jackets, hoodies and t-shirts for the company. Arash has also created a special art style for the company that creates exclusive artworks of employees, utilized on the company’s official site as well as in its marketing initiatives and social media platforms.
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