Photo by Sarah Martin
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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 television 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 enormous cats).
Russ creates his art using digital software, primarily Clip Studio and other digital tools. He works in traditional mediums, often with a mixture of paper, pencil, pen & ink, gouache, and watercolor.
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 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 the 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.
Central PA Magazine
Humpty Dumpty Magazine
Little Creek Press
Penguin Random House
Peter Pauper Press
Running Press Kids
Sky Pony Press
Binney & Smith (Crayola)
Kids Crooked House
Maine Discovery Museum
New York Public Library
Nine 22 Media
Quaker Steak & Lube