Green Doors Blog > Artist Spotlight: The Work of Rodney Barry

Artist Spotlight: The Work of Rodney Barry

Photographer, digital artist, illustrator, and budding screenwriter, Green Doors resident Rodney Barry says his work can be summed up by the web domain he’s chosen to host his work in the near future: “,” he says, laughing. “It stands for monsters, aliens, super heroes, and plain old ordinary people. Those are the subjects that interest me most.”

Plain old ordinary people tend to be the subjects of Rodney’s photographic work; he saves the monsters, aliens, and super heroes for his illustrations.  The above photograph, for instance, was taken of someone that Rodney spotted while on a road trip eastward with friends. “I was in a coffeeshop in Nagadoches, and just noticed this guy,” he recalls. “I liked his moustache.”

Not all of Rodney’s pictures are of strangers. When he moved to Austin in 2009, the first thing he did was network with folks who shared similar interests. He became a regular at the Austin Film Meet, the Web-design meet-up, and various sketch groups. There, he met a bunch of collaborators who were also trying to build their portfolios and eager to make work.

“This is Joy, she’s a cinematographer. I met her and knew she would make a great model – but nobody had ever asked her to pose before,” Rodney said, somewhat mystified. “I was shocked that she had never been asked, and she was shocked that I asked!”

The next picture is one of Rodney’s all-time favorites. “I stood on a chair to get the right angle,” he says. “I just love the way the carpet looks.”

In addition to meeting models for his portraiture practice, Rodney also began to meet videographers and filmmakers. Soon, he got the idea to explore set photography.

“This one is from a video shoot for the band Dawn Over Zero. I just waited for the light be right and then, snap. Took the picture.”

Some shoots went more smoothly than others. Take the time Rodney shot on the set of a horror movie called Trusted, which was shot in an old jail. At one point, after a scene had wrapped, everyone was getting ready to leave the wing of the jail. Someone called for Rodney to come along. “I was like, ‘I can’t! I’m locked up!'” Rodney recalled, laughing. Apparently, an actor had mistakenly locked Rodney in a cell. “I’m always calm, so I just waited while everyone else freaked out.”

Because he was still building his portfolio, Rodney has yet to earn money for his set photography. He was, however, recently hired by Austin Books to photograph a store event, a gig he enjoyed and would love to do again.

But the work that is closest to Rodney’s heart is comic illustration. Last March, he was excited to participate in Staple!,  an independent media expo where he joined a throng of fellow comic artsts to show off his work.

“This is my version of Dark Phoenix from X-Men,” says Rodney. He explained that when an artist is still unknown, the smart thing to do is recreations of characters that people already love. “People like to buy characters they know, but in the styles of different artists.”

But Rodney is hard at work devloping his own style and techinque.  In fact, he is working on a comic series that he hopes to unveil in the not-too-distant future, on and larger comic conventions. Meanwhile, a the end of the month, he’ll travel to Houson for Comicpalooza to share new work and mingle with other artists.

Rodney often posts works-in-progress on his fanpage, The Art of Rodney Barry, seeking input from his community. Space Girl, pictured above, is a sketch of a character that he’s currently developing.

“I guess I’m doing something right,” he says humbly. “People sure do seem to love the stuff I have been producing.”

If you’d like to hire Rodney to photograph an event or purchase a print of his work, please contact him through Facebook by clicking here.

Green Doors is always looking for financial or in-kind donations for art supplies, books, cameras, and other materials that will enhance our residents’ lives.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can become involved in Green Doors’ programs, please contact Diana Welch at 512-469-9130 or

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Diana Welch

Diana Welch joined Green Doors in November 2011. As development associate, her goal is to help spread the word of this organization's mission while expanding community awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. Through her careers as an author, journalist, and communication consultant, Diana's professional passion has always been telling stories, be them her own or someone else's. In 2009, she and her siblings co-authored a memoir called The Kids are All Right, which recounts from four first-person perspectives the experience of being orphaned and separated as children, only to be reunited as teenagers. The memoir won the 2009 Alex award from the American Library Association and was featured on Good Morning America, People Magazine, and elsewhere. Preceding publication of her book, she worked at the Austin Chronicle as community editor as well as a reporter specializing in issues such as community activism and subcultural movements.

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