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Russ Cox was raised by a pack of crazed hillbillies in the back woods 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 if deadlines are tight or the style is better suited for the project.
Russ lives in Maine with his wife and four 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 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