In Memory of an Artist, Monty Oum

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In Memory of an Artist, Monty Oum

For a good number of people who watch a lot of Let’s Play videos or video game entertainment like Rooster Teeth, this might come to a lot of you as a shock. Already, people have expressed their grief all over the internet and on hundreds of sites, such as Crunchyroll, RoosterTeeth, Variety, and Kotaku.

Monty Oum, the creator of Haloid, the Dead Fantasy series, RWBY, and the talented director of RoosterTeeth’s Red vs Blue Seasons 8 to 10, passed away at 33.

It was literally less than a quarter of a year when I talked to a very caffeinated Monty Oum at the RoosterTeeth booth at New York Comic Con. I was very nervous, I was an admirer of his work and I remember how I was almost in a panic before going to the New York Comic Con because I would be able to talk to Monty Oum.

The discussion was pretty standard for a lot of the interviews I’ve conducted, but it was also one of the coolest and most humbling interviews I have ever had. For the 17 minutes I was able to speak with him, I didn’t feel like I was talking to an internet celebrity.

If you read the Comic Con issue back in October, I talked a lot about animation advice I got from Monty Oum, as well as talking about any little thing that I was able to get about RWBY that wasn’t already all over the internet.

However, at no point during the interview did Monty Oum ever say how great he was. Actually, it was the opposite. We went from talking about how he couldn’t be in the art department at Namco Bandai because he didn’t know 3DS Max or Maya, to how he “appreciated physics to the point of breaking physics”.

The man just had a deep passion for creating things, which was a lot of why it was so easy to relate to and have a nice chat with the creator of one of my favorite series of 2014. I even asked him a question about how to get better, creatively, at Dance Dance Revolution, to which he said that “it’s all in using the heel and the shoulders.”

A good number of you might not know what RoosterTeeth, Monty Oum, or RWBY is, or you might have been someone who didn’t like anything that Monty created, and that’s fine. However, Monty died in his prime and in the middle of his most popular work. He also died in a way where, if he didn’t pass away so suddenly, he would probably be back in his office at RoosterTeeth animating right now. He didn’t die from any form of malice. He died because of terrible luck.

When coming up with where I wanted to go with this article, this being an article I never thought I would write, I thought about how easy it is for any and all of us to end our dreams and what we’ve been building. By no means does this mean we should be scared to continue doing what we love, but as seen with the kinds of things Monty Oum was able to do, at least he died while working on the things he is passionate about. He created some of the craziest mash-ups as well as an award winning web series. Regardless of the fact that he will never be able to finish Dead Fantasy or RWBY (which will probably still be worked on by RoosterTeeth), he died while still creating.

Matt Hullum, CEO and co-founder of RoosterTeeth, closed out his condolences to Monty Oum by telling people to be imaginative, creative, and to do it to make the world a better place. If I learned anything from Monty Oum’s death, it’s that I should always be doing what I love. For me it’s making video games and software; for another, maybe it’s music.

No one knows how long they have left to live. If we spend the rest of our lives wasting our lives away doing nothing, as cliché as this sounds, we’re going to die having done nothing.

Along with Matt Hullum and RoosterTeeth, do what you love doing. Create things, share things, make the world a better place. People die every day, especially those we hold a lot of respect for. Monty Oum died while doing what he loved doing, even if those things were never complete.

Maybe it’s time to get to know yourself better and do what you want to do because, you only live once. Don’t waste the time you have on this world by piling up regrets, do what you love.

About The Author

Matthew Maravilla

A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.

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