Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Been A Long Time

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

I just realized that it has been 3 weeks since I last posted on my blog. Where did the time go? It really has gotten away from me lately. There is so much going on here in the merry land of Otis. Some things I can tell you about and others are under wraps for now. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag too early but 2012 could be a very exciting year.

First things first, I just did a new promo postcard that will be sent to various reps/agents, publishers, agencies, game developers, etc. The Pinocchio piece turned out quite well so I thought it would be a good sample and lead off for the second style I have been working on as of late. I have fallen in love with Photoshop! It is letting me get a traditional feel with this style. I have not abandoned Painter but Photoshop just has a familiar feel to it since I worked in Illustrator for many years. If you would like a postcard, send me an email to russ@smilingotis.com. 100 of them just went out the door so fingers are crossed for a response.

Major Manners is moving forward pretty quickly now. All sketches have been approved so I have been working on the final art. The book should be out early next year. Molly Kite is also moving along and should be hitting the store shelves very soon. There are some big plans for both books but I must keep things under wrap for now.

I have been getting a lot of inquiries from self publishers these past two weeks. The advertising is really paying off as my name seems to be getting out there a bit more. Hopefully a more publishers will be calling. I am really enjoying venturing into picture books at this point of my career.

In January, I will be heading to New York for the winter SCBWI conference. Fred Koehler, Ward Jenkins (Chicks Run Wild), and I will be sharing a room. That should be interesting and a great time. I am looking forward to seeing many friends, old and new plus learning some things. Maybe you can teach an old dog a new trick.

This past weekend, I organized a figure drawing workshop with Isaac Peleko. He is a New York based artist that I knew from my PCA&D teaching days. We had 16 area artist take the workshop and I think each of us learned quite a bit from him. He is coming back to Maine in the spring aka Mud Season to teach a portraiture class.

On a personal note, my wife and I had a Halloween party. We have been talking about it for years but finally said "Enough talk, lets do it!" We had about 40 people in our little house. Everyone was dressed in wonderful, fun costumes. I was dressed as the tooth fairy and my wife one of my victims (see above photo). There was a ton of food. We provided a pulled pork and bar-b-que dish that we made look like a leg that a zombie was chewing on (see above). Everyone was telling us that this will be an annual event so we better start planning for next year!

The weather is rapidly changing up here in Maine even though today was a beautiful 60 degrees. Everyone is prepping for winter which is right around the corner. I hope it holds this weekend so I can button down the outside. 

Until next time (hopefully it will not be 3 weeks!), I leave you with this:
"I learned to draw everything except glamorous women. No matter how much I tried to make them look sexy, they always ended up looking silly... or like somebody's mother." ~ Norman Rockwell

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