Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

It has been quite a year here in the merry land of Otis. Lots of fun projects, wonderful people to work along side, learned some new things, improved on the old, just a remarkable year. No complaints. I am very grateful to those who hired me for their projects. Many people in the industry struggled or had to find other things to do for employment. I hope 2011 is equally as prosperous and energizing not just for me, but for all of you as well.

©2010 Russ Cox/Smiling Otis Studio

I have finally finished up a new promo piece and have three others started. I am excited on how the "Tea Party" turned out. I incorporated some things that I learned with the "Space ship" piece while maintaining my style or look. Doing away with the outlines, gives the illustration more life and movement. The colors really pop. This illustration has more of a retro look and feel to it. I did a version with a textured that was over top of the entire image but most people liked it without since the colors are more vibrant. I hope to get two of the other three completed this coming week.

This past week I quoted on a children's book with another book coming in for a quote shortly afterwards. I did not get the first book which is disappointing. The story and concept was really clever. It would have been a lot of fun to work on but their budget was really small. Maybe next time. Still waiting on whether the second book is a go or not. Fingers are crossed.

With the coming new year, I am teaming up with a couple of other creatives to start a licensing company. We plan on building a database of images to lease. One of the partners has major connections within the food franchise market. Plus he is a marketing wiz. We are looking forward getting this going since we have been talking about it for year.

I leave you with this quote. Have a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

All wrapped up!

©2010 Russ Cox/Smiling Otis Studio

Otis and Russ wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back in the saddle

©2010 Russ Cox/Smiling Otis Studio

Many apologies for not posting last week. Caught a bug that had me under the weather for a few days. Plus my workload was still heavy so I had to get some things out the door.

These sketches are for a personal project that I am trying to develop. I'm not going to reveal too much information but will post things as they progress. The kids are bit different than what I normally do with larger heads, simplified the eyes, and softer features. The other characters are my standard style and look. I still am still working on the overall look but needed to get the first set of sketches down on paper so I can review them periodically.

Progress is being made on new promo pieces but nothing completed to share with you right now. Time is running out since the conference is less than 5 weeks away. A lot of late nights coming up after the holidays are over.

I am in communications with some Bangor area fine artist to put together a regular figure drawing class. There are some very impressive artist involved. I hope we can get something going on a monthly basis. It would be a perfect opportunity to learn and grow as an artist. Our first session is in February and will post results.

Speaking of figure drawings, you must check out Isaac Peleko's drawings. We have a couple of his paintings. Simply beautiful.

On a personal note, I am taking this week off for the Christmas holiday. Our son and daughter will be around and my parents are driving up from Tennessee. It will be warm, festive house for Christmas. I do a post this coming Friday.

"Color is an inborn gift, but appreciation of value is merely training of the eye, which everyone ought to be able to acquire."~ John Singer Sargent

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let it snow

Today has been a beautiful day here in Maine. The snow has been falling all day and really has put me in the holiday spirit. This may be my favorite time of the year. My wife and I sent out some Christmas packages to a unit of soldiers stationed in Afghanistan over the weekend. We hope they arrive in time and spread a bit of holiday cheer.

Several projects are moving along but I cannot post anything from them at the moment. Maybe in a month or so I can post something. I am still working on my promo pieces. I think I have shown all of sketches to date and have only completed one piece which I am thinking about redoing. In between projects, I am trying to get some feedback on whether my work is right for the book market. So many different opinions on the matter that I will continue doing things in my digital style until I can talk to some directly on the matter.
The above samples are a couple of older pieces that I recently found. The first one was a magazine spot illustration for an article on goats. I cannot remember the details but I guess it has to do with bathing them. The sketch was done for a client putting together a website on school kids. Again, I am hazy on the details but I like the drawing. I figured I would post something instead of having just copy.

I hope to be back on track Friday but with the holidays and busy schedule, one can only do so much.Have a lovely week.

"I decided to be more brave about what was coming out. I used to draw that stuff in secret and throw it away. Flush it down the toilet. I wanted to see what the readership could take." ~ Robert Crumb

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