Meet Russ

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Russ Cox was raised by a pack of crazed hillbillies in the backwoods of Tennessee. Without much in the way of modern conveniences, like a television set or running water, he spent his time drawing, whittling, and throwing dirt clods at his cousins. With the bulk of his life spent in Pennsylvania, he met his wife; became a graphic designer; played in punk, alternative, and surf bands; had two kids; and started his own illustration studio, Smiling Otis Studio (named after one of their very large cats). Russ creates his art the old school way using paper, pencil, gouache, and watercolor. Using traditional tools gives Russ an opportunity to explore and experiment. He also works digitally, sometimes a combo with traditional mediums, for his comic and graphic novel work.

Russ lives in Maine with his wife and three cats.


A few fun facts:

Although he is tall (6'5"), he is afraid of heights and cannot tell you how the weather is up there.

He was an extra in a low budget zombie movie. He played the tall, graceless zombie.

One of the highlights of his music career is when he played at CBGB's, several times.

There is a vague memory of him, as a kid, meeting Johnny Cash at JC Penney's in Nashville.

His Grandpa Graham is his idol.

He loves winter and snow.

He scored the lowest in his high school class in automotive mechanics, but at the top in engineering.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton, his favorite children's book.


Client list:

Publishers
Capstone
Caterpillar 
Central PA Magazine 
Disney Magazine
Harcourt Publishing
Highlights Magazine
Humpty Dumpty Magazine
Islandport Press
Little Creek Press
MacMillan Publishing
Outhouse Ink
Penguin Random House
Peter Pauper Press
Regency Kids
Rubicon Publishing
Running Press Kids
Scholastic 
Sky Pony Press
Time, Inc. 

Commercial Clients
A&E
AKQA
American Greetings
AOL
Armour Games
Binney & Smith (Crayola)
Classroom Library
Dickies
Gamewright
Hershey
Ian Osborne
Janice Dean
Kaboom
Kellogg's
Kids Crooked House 
Kiboomu
Leap Frog
Lifetime Channel 
McDonalds
Maine Discovery Museum
Moosetache Games
New York Public Library
Nine 22 Media
Pangeum Interactive
PETA
PopCap Games
Portland Stage
Turtle Transit
Quaker Steak & Lube 
Warner Brothers
Word World 

 

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Russ Cox-Smiling Otis Studio | Pittsfield, Maine |207.951.5009 | russ@smilingotis.com |© 2008-2020 Russ Cox. Do not use images without written permission from the artist. All rights reserved.