Although not a public figure to the same extent as, say, George W. Bush or Orlando Jones, plenty of people have asked interesting and penetrating questions of Alex Ross. Here are some questions that heís answered more frequently than others:
How long has Alex been drawing?
Hereís what Alexís mother Lynette told the Chicago Tribune: "When Alex was maybe 3, he watched a 30-second commercial and drew what he saw on the commercial from memory. Almost before he could speak, he could draw." In other words, since the early or mid-1970s.
Alex, how did you get started in comics?
"I began by sending samples of my work to companies and getting work, a little at a time. I did a lot of projects that led up to the ones for which Iím known. The first one was a series called Terminator: The Burning Earth, for a Chicago-area publisher who is no longer with us."
Of all the projects youíve done, whatís your favorite?
"Perhaps the one I enjoyed working on the most was Kingdom Come. It was a very personal creation, with my dad as the main character and a lot of my friends making cameo appearances. Iím probably proudest of Uncle Sam, which I saw as the sort of story that wasnít being done very much in mainstream comic books."
How long does it take you to do a page?
"The answer is too convoluted. I draw and paint ten pages a month, usually drawing all ten first and then painting them all at once. I can finish off a page in 3-4 days. I work the same way children eat meals; I start with those parts of a page which are the most fun. I find if you feel comfortable with your human figures, everything else you do will be more relaxed."
What advice do you have for young artists?
"I usually recommend they take the same path I did: go to art school, study the human form, find a job that will let them cultivate their skills. Before I began painting comic books, I worked for an advertising agency, so I was in an office everyday, drawing people and places in a realistic style on a regular basis."
What tools do you use?
"I use Windsor Newton brushes and Gouache watercolor paints. Ultimately, the materials arenít whatís important. The end product is important."
Will Alex paint/draw something for [me/my child or other relative/my upcoming special event]?
Contractual obligations make it impossible for Alex to accept any commissions at present. As Alexís art dealer says, "We get a lot of requests like this and unfortunately, those projects take time Alex doesnít have right now. Heís working on projects that demand a lot of his time and energy. Itís the same reason that Dustin Hoffman doesnít accept every offer from every theatre companyóthereís just too much else going on."
Is Alexís original artwork for sale?
It is, at Alexís website, alexrossart.com.
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