Randy Rogers-Christian Illustrator
Anyone who has been around Christian album cover design for any length of time will have heard of the name, Randy Rogers. He was the illustrator behind some of the most well-respected Star Song album covers in the 1980s. Back in those days, big LP introductions were promoted with powerful illustrative “ideas”. Today it is different. Most covers are photographs with gimmicky design elements and are utterly devoid of concept, lacking the power of earlier illustrated art.
But far more voluminous than his Christian art, Randy’s 30+ year career spans work created for the clients of well-known, high-powered ad agencies and Fortune 500 clientele.
Let’s review a thumbnail sketch of his formative years. From zero to eight, Randy grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. He loved life there. But when his family moved to Houston, he said things were tough. He credits football and art as the glue that got him through Bellaire High. After high school, Randy was talented enough to attend one of the most respected art schools in the world—The Art Center College of Design in California. They don’t crank out any lackeys in those classrooms. Most graduates are culture influencers. Randy has been.
Fresh out of the Art Center, he returned home to Houston during the boom years of 1980. Packing his airbrush and gouache, he quickly picked up freelancing jobs. Oil was flowing and so was the advertising money. It is Randy’s sense that, “the early 1980’s were the last waning years as far as illustrative art still being a force in advertising.”
When I asked Randy about who influenced his work today, he indicated life today wasn’t like when he was growing up under idolizing icons like Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth. Randy said, “One of the problems in today’s age is there is so much imagery going on. One can hardly take it all in, let alone remember who created it.” As for illustration styles themselves he said, “The boundaries are being blurred between photography and art. Computer-generated imagery is a blend of all.”
Randy works faster these days. Long gone are the tedious hours of cutting friskets and breathing spray. His brush and canvas are 100% digital. Life moves on.
I asked Randy, “If you had 15 minutes to encourage someone about the day we are in, what would you say?”
Randy responded without hesitation. “When we look around at our culture, you see mountains of corruption and perversion. Our country appears to be sliding towards Gomorrah. It is a daunting specter. As I look at the economy, it appears hopeless as well.
However, I hear the Lord clearly saying, ‘Fear not. Don’t be afraid.’ It’s like a command. He has been pressing this truth into my heart for a long while now.
We think life today is the worst it has been in the whole history of mankind. But people forget what a normal day must have been like when Jesus walked the earth. Everyday life was incredibly hard. The entire Jewish culture lived in an occupied country, under the iron dominance of a cruel overseer, the Romans. Here in America we are clueless about what it is like to live in an occupied country, to survive under marshal law.
Imagine yourself in that day. You are traveling to work. On your way, you pass half-a-dozen guys being cruelly harassed by Roman dragoons. You witness normal, everyday people crying and under great stress. If you saw that daily, how would it affect you? The next day as you make your way to work, you see someone die beside the road. Over a lifetime, how would that affect you? Would you grow callous or numb? Maybe you would enjoy it. Your entire culture submitted to the Romans because they were so cruel. Even the super-strict, authoritarian, religious Jewish leaders were just as cruel. And they punished people for good works done in faith.
In the midst of this Christ said, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ The times that we face today are growing in difficulty, yet His word of encouragement stands.“
In this case, I pray Randy’s tongue and heart paints an indelible truth on the canvas of your heart— ‘Fear not.’
May God bless you and the work He designed you for.
Written by Dave Rogers, Lamb Creek Current ©2011 Lamb Creek Creative Services