Lancaster, Pennsylvania –
RUSS COX was raised by a pack of crazed Hillbillies in the back hills of Tennessee. Without much in the way of modern conveniences, like a television set, he spent his time drawing and whittling away the hours. Having been born into a family with a flare for racing, Russ often dreamed of being the next Bobby Allison or Richard Petty. After dismantling his grandfather’s lawn mower engine, and without a clue on how to get it back together, he soon realized that he did not have a automotive bone in his body. Back to the drawing board he went with his pencil and paper.
After spending much of his childhood moving all over the South, his recently divorced mother headed North and settled into the quaint borough of Robesonia, Pennsylvania. While in high school, Russ developed an interest in design and a passion for music. Upon graduating high school he wanted to enter the world of design and illustration. He got his education at a local art school. During this time, he was introduced to a design instructor, Jerry King Musser, who befriended him and help guide his talents. Upon graduating, with a portfolio in his hand, he ventured into the world of design and illustration. Good ole Russ worked for various design and advertising agencies until coming to his senses. With his wife giving him a swift kick start in the rump, he opened his own studio, Smiling Otis Studio, where he presently specializes in illustration and Flash animation.
When not slaving in front of a computer screen, Russ loves to spend time with his wife, two kids, and a plethora of pets. He also continues to pursue his passion for music, playing electric and standup bass in 60s surf instrumental/British Invasion band called The New Regency 5. Russ’s so-called musical career highlight was his various gigs playing the infamous CBGB’s in NYC.
Why is it called Smiling Otis Sudio? I get this question all the time. The name came from a cat, Otis, we once had who laid on his back and always had a big smile on his face. The kids, when they were much younger, would call him Smiling Otis. The name just stuck.
Unfortunately Otis isn’t with us anymore but lives on in the name.
“SPACE GIRL” –This was a quick piece where I wanted to experiment more with shapes and not use outlines to hold it all together. It ended up being on our drummer’s kick drum.
To learn more about Russ visit his site.
Very 50’s chic!