Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Doodle A Day

Since returning from the conference a month ago, I have done a doodle a day. These are just for me and there is no preconceived concept of idea before I sit down to sketch. It is a stream of consciousness approach just to see what appears on the pages. I have almost filled up a sketchbook since I begin doing this. A couple of illustrator friends, Hazel Mitchell and Gerald Kelley, have been doing this lately so it inspired me to get off my butt and give it a try. I must say that it has been really fun and I am starting to see a transformation in my style. The sketching has me wanting to loosen up quite a bit more, plus the feedback on the doodles is telling me to head into that direction and really develop that style.

On a different note, here are a few photos of my studio space. I like keeping my banjo and bass nearby to play when I am stuck or just taking a break. The papers on the wall are from my children's book that is in progress. Hope to finish up the dummy by the end of June so I can submit to agents and publishers for feedback.

Not much else to report at the moment. Keeping very busy with various projects. Working on my first app with a new developer so that will be begin in the next few weeks. Also so possible book projects could be coming in but no details just yet. Looking forward to Major Manners coming out next month with Outhouse Ink Publishing. It has been almost a year since we began work on the book. The designer did a great job with the layout.

Oh, I am giving away a signed print on my Facebook page. Just click here and "like" the page to enter. Once I hit 1,000 likes, I will randomly select the winner and mail the print to them. It is a 16x20 giclee archival print. Good luck!

Until next time, I will leave you with this quote:
“Art is never finished, only abandoned." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Interview with: Me

© 2012 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

I was thinking that 3 or 4 times a year that I would do a blog interview with fellow artist/illustrators. So to get the this idea rolling, I thought it would be fun to interview myself. So here we go!

Smiling Otis Studio: Since I did not have time to read your bio, can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Russ Cox: Sure, I am originally from Tennessee but spent most of my life in Pennsylvania. Recently my wife and I moved to Maine. After graduating high school, I attended art ...

SOS: Can we move this along? This isn't a "This Is Your Life" interview.
RC: Okay, I am an illustrator that specializes in the children's market with a focus on books. Was that short enough?

SOS: Hey, I ask the questions! An illustrator? Is that like an artist?
RC: Yes, it is the basically the same thing. An illustrator is a type of artist. We specialize in visually supporting a book, article, product, etc. and are hired to do so. 

SOS: So someone tells you want to draw.
RC: In a way, yes, we are directed what to draw but there is still a lot of freedom and room for interpretation.

SOS: But someone still tells you what to draw?
RC: Yes and no. We still have ...

SOS: But someone still tells you what to draw?
RC: Ugh, next question.

SOS: Sounds like we hit a nerve and you do not want to answer my question.
RC: I have tried to answer your question but ...

SOS: What is with the drawing of the viking dude? Is that suppose to be you?
RC: Yes. I was just having some fun with myself and thought it would be funny to draw myself as a viking.

SOS: I don't get it.
RC: There is nothing to get. It is a funny representation of me.

SOS: Okay. If you say so.
RC: You don't like ...

SOS: If you could be any bird, what would you be?
RC: What kind of question is that and what does it have to do with being an artist?

SOS: Are you an artist or illustrator?
RC: I've tried answering that question but you keep cut...

SOS: That type of bird would you be?
RC: This is a stupid question. What is so important about ...

SOS: Hey, this is an easy question. They are going to get harder. Just answer the question.
RC: A crow. Is that a good enough answer for you?

SOS: Again, I ask the questions. Stick to the protocol. I understand that you recently won some trophy, award, or whatever it was, can you tell me more about it?
RC: It was for the my "Mother Goose" piece that I did for the NESCBWI conference last month. The awards were for "Published". "People's ...

SOS: I am bored with this answer. What do you use to create your art, illustrations, or whatever you call it?
RC: Illustrations. You can call it illustrations. I work digitally mostly but still use pencil and paper for my sketching. 

SOS: Digitally? So the computer does the work for you.
RC: No, the computer is just another tool like a brush or canvas or ...

SOS: Sounds like cheating or being a tracer.
RC: A tracer? What do you mean?

SOS: The computer does the work for you. You hit a button and "voila", the computer does it all.
RC: No, the computer does not do it for you. I spent a lot of time using Photoshop, Illustrator, or Painter to create my artwork.

SOS: There you go using the term "artwork". I thought it was an illustration?
RC: It is! They are the same thing!

SOS: Yeah right. On to another question. Have you written any books?
RC: I am writing and illustrating my first one right now with the hopes of finding a publisher for it. It is a story about friendship lost and found. the working title is "Fa...

SOS: Are you using software to write the story for you as well since you just hit a button for the artwork?
RC: What?!?! No! I am creating the story from scratch as well as the artwork. I told you that the computer is ...

SOS: Boxers or briefs?
RC: What?

SOS: Answer the question. Boxers or briefs?
RC: That is a stupid question.

SOS: I guess you don't want to answer it. What do you like to do when you aren't sitting on your ass drawing all day?
RC: I don't sit on my ass and draw all day. There is so much more to being an illustrator than just drawing. We are always promoting  ..

SOS: Yadda-yadda-yadda, blah-blah-blah. Who cares. Do you do anything else besides draw?
RC: Well, I like to play the banjo and ...

SOS: The banjo? What are you some deep South redneck? I guess your favorite movie is Deliverance, right?
RC: That's it! This interview is over!

SOS: Well, there you have it folks. Some people cannot handle the tough, insightful questions. Until next time, I leave you with this quote: "Don't confuse being stimulating with being blunt." ~ Barbara Walters

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