Chris Rabilwongse Stop-Motion Puppet Fabricator

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stop-motion puppet fabricator Chris Rabilwongse

Chris Rabilwongse, Tell us a little bit about yourself and especially how you became a stop-motion puppet fabricator.

ive been working as a stop-motion puppet fabricator for ten years now…

got my start dressing vegetables for an independent short film retelling of Oedipus where all characters were played by vegetables (you can watch it on youtube, just type in oedipus the movie with vegetables) my screen credit was lead model maker because thats what i mostly did for that film…

i eventually got hired as a puppet fabricator for the TV show Robot Chicken for several seasons and did work on Moral Orel and Titan Maximum as well…i designed and build the puppets for Mary shelley’s Frankenhole’s first season after working a year on Coraline in portland…

Chris Rabilwongse Collage

Sculpt and paint job for comic-con commercial

i officially moved to portland in 2010 and have been working at Laika Studios ever since….

worked on Paranorman, and the Boxtrolls and am now in production on their next feature Kubo and the Two Strings. working in stop-motion has been my dream job, but ive also dabbled in illustration, art restoration, fashion illustration, stylist, teaching figure drawing, film, landscaping(i’m very knowledgeable in cactus, succulents, and xeric gardening), and i am an amazing cook (my mom was a caterer and my brother is sous chef at thomas keller’s Bouchon)….i still go to figure drawing every week and will be starting my own workshop before year’s end…thanks for the good habit ryman arts

What was your first job?

first job was at a Pizza Hut/Dunkin’ donuts at LAX, i left after one month when Disney hired me to ink cels…i just stopped showing up as soon as i started at Disney

What is the job you wish you had for just one week?

if i could have any job for one week it would be to work in one of the couture houses in Paris as a sketch artist or costumer, hell, ill even sweep the floors just so i could be in the atelier

What is the most important thing you learned in school?

most important thing i learned in school was art history, cant get enough of that!

What do you wish that you had learned in school?

i wish they taught money skills, finances, how to do taxes, how to make bids and price your artwork, etc.

Favorite Style of Pizza?

thin crust NY style or neopolitan like in Rome

Best advice you ever received?

best advice i ever received was “a versatile artist is an employed artist” from someone during my disney years

What is the best advice you ever gave?

best advice i ever gave and still give: use your student loan money to travel the world!

When did the arts enter your life in a significant way?

I’ve been a creative person since i was a child and my parents have been very nurturing of it from the very beginning, which is rare for Asian parents to do, i guess i lucked out! growing up watching all the Rankin and Bass stop-motion movies was most significant as was Ray Harryhausen’s films

Ice Cream, Pie or Cake?

definitely ice cream, i always have a pint of Haagen Daaz coffee or strawberry in the freezer at all times

What do you do when you fail?

well, i’m a virgo so, i tend to dwell on my failures a lot…i usually pick up and move on fairly quickly and learn from them, but, they are always in the back of my mind

Chris Rabilwongse, Tell us a secret.

sadly, i’m a luddite and have very little computer skills or interest in technology so i dont have a website or anything online except for IMDB and my travel blog which has been inactive for a while now…you can check it out if you like, FISH out of WATER

Editors Note: A very special thank you to Chris Rabilwongse for sharing a little bit about himself and his career so far. We are all looking forward to seeing what comes next for Chris. We’re sure it won’t be boring!

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