Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adam Rex Interview

The illustrator I chose was Adam Rex. Last summer, my friend loaned me her True Meaning of Smekday book and I read it in about three days, so I was really excited when I learned that Adam Rex was an illustrator as well as a writer. Here is a link to his blog and a few of his images that I really admire:

And here is a link to a short video which can also be found here.

He emailed me back saying:

1.) What gets you inspired?

What doesn't? But since that answer isn't very helpful, I'll say that I'm a big fan of the Drawn Blog.

2.) How do you manage stress? What do you do for fun?

I bitch to my wife. I was going to clarify that this is how I manage stress and not, of course, what I do for fun; but honestly requires me to admit that it's also one of the things I do for fun. Otherwise I like going to local theater, art museums and galleries, streaming entire seasons of shows at once, walking around and looking at things, and of course reading.

3.) What was the professional assignment you have enjoyed the most?

Well, you probably know I write a lot of my own material, so my favorite "assignments" have been to illustrate my own books. But I remember one of my favorites was an assignment years ago to illustrate the cover of a (November?) issue of Spider Magazine. I was invited to paint whatever I wanted, as long as it was autumnal. You don't often get requests like that.

I painted a couple of bugs on an apple:

4.) How do you advertise yourself/get work? What works for you?

What worked for me back in the nineties was a two-pronged approach of sending out promotional postcards and packets of samples to people and addresses I found in reference books, and also visiting the San Diego Comic-Con every summer to show work. People didn't have portfolio websites back then, though I do now and tell everyone they're idiots for not at least having a blog up nowadays.

Most of my work from the past several years has come from my literary agent, however. He handles both my writing and illustration. I got his representation in part because of luck–he contacted me out of the blue after seeing my work on one of his author client's picture books (The Dirty Cowboy). I did some poking around and discovered he was one of the best agents in the business.

5.) And finally, at this very moment if you could be doing anything your heart desired, what would you be doing?

Career-wise? Pretty much exactly what I'm already doing, except with more awards and money.

So, the topic I got for my assignment was The Ugly Duckling, so of course I had to make a superhero.
My piece:
Not that long ago in a galaxy that happened to be this very galaxy, a race of alien ducks was slowly dying. Their planet on the brink of destruction, they sent out a last beacon of hope: the last Space Duck egg. It fell into an Earth Duck nest and was raised as one of their own. With quacks that break the sound barier and a vendetta against the Dangerous D (a.k.a. Dusty) and his legion of two-dimensional cat minions, she fights to free her family and all of duck-kind from tyrany. She is...

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artwork © MICA students 2011