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Stephanie Cox is an artist in the midwest United States who works with a variety of mediums. Her versatile style makes her pieces worthy of a number of different mediums, from gracing the cover of children’s books or illustrating them to becoming a pattern used in fabric. Take a look at her artwork in here.
ToonariPost (TP): Who or what are your inspirations and why?
Stephanie Cox (SC): Pretty much every artist I can find inspires me, but off the top of my head some of my current favorites are Campbell Whyte, Emily Carroll, Stacey Rozich, Andrew Schick, Jenna Chew, Claire Wendling, Meg Hunt, Lois van Baarle, Matsumoto Taiyo, andVeronique Meignaud. They each have their own unique style, and there’s just something appealing about their work. I love trying to figure out their process and seeing what inspires them. I’m also inspired by pretty much every comic artist ever because they have this crazy drive that I really admire.
TP: Would you ever consider teaming up with one of these artists to do a piece? If so, who, why, and what type of work do you think would come from this partnership? If not, what are your reasons?
SC: I’ve done a few collaborations, and they’ve been really fun! I tend to get really nervous about doing them, though, since my process of making art can be very drawn out as I slowly polish the work up to what I think is finished. I’d love to collaborate with any of my favorite artists, but I also think that most of their styles are so diverse it probably would not pan out well with mine. I’d rather do a trade of some kind.
TP: What is your favorite subject to draw and why?
SC: People are my favorite things and are usually the inspiration for my work. I love doing life studies, and working with characterization and stories is really what led me into art. There’s just an unlimited array of possibilities when it comes to people and their stories, and there’s so many creative offshoots- fashion design, interior design, ancient and modern culture and history, functional art and design, all derived from the whims and creativity of other people.
TP: If you were asked to illustrate any novel, historical event, short story, poem, or any other kind of story, what would it be and why? How would you take on that project?
SC: I would really love to do a personal project illustrating Garth Nix’s “Sabriel“, since it’s one of my favorite childhood (and adulthood) series. I would love to illustrate any kind of story with a bit of fantasy to it, because it lets me focus on human interaction and lets me have a little bit of fun at the same time. I’d do covers and maybe a few illustrated interiors of my favorite scenes.
TP: If there was any art medium that you wish you could master, what would it be and why?
SC: I eventually want to master watercolor. I would like to be better in Photoshop because I think it’s a really useful tool, and I just want to be able to use it at its full potential. Honestly, I want to master everything, but I want to focus on those two in particular for the time being.
TP: Outside of art, what is your life like?
SC: I usually tinker here and there in other creative things, like sewing, writing, or graphic/web design. When I’m not doing that, I like to read, shop, scour the internet for inspiration, or play video games, especially with friends. I also like sitting with some coffee and music and just chilling out.
TP: What sort of topics do you enjoy writing about?
SC: I enjoy playing around with middle ground fantasy, mostly slice of life with a touch of some kind of fantastic element like super powers or magic. I also really enjoy writing manuals and how-tos, which slides into my non-art related work, and probably explains why I want to teach.
TP: What are your goals in life? Do you plan to continue art as a hobby or make it a career?
SC: I eventually would like to make a living purely off my work. I know it will be a long, hard road, but I’m ready for it. If I can’t, I know I’ll still have it in my life to enjoy. I want to learn all different kinds of skills: lettering, toy design, posters, everything! I’d also like to teach in some capacity (probably watercolor)!
TP: Do you feel that your culture has influenced you in some way that makes you different than other artists?
SC: I don’t feel that my culture in particular has influenced me, but rather my unique life experiences. Art isn’t created in a vacuum, and I feel that lots of things impact my work, both external influences and internal reactions, and it all boils down to an introspective process for me.
I focus a lot on my own psychology and that often sneaks into my personal projects and makes them unpredictable. Sometimes it’s a scary process, but it helps me to learn different techniques that I can bring into my more editorial work, and I learn things about myself at the same time.