An Interview with Cover Artist Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo lives in Little Compton, but his art travels well beyond our borders. It has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Esquire and The Boston Globe, among other publications. His illustrations have graced the covers of numerous books, and his fine art is something to be admired. During our interview, Russo told me that currently, the only place people can see his work is under his bed. Aren’t we lucky to put it on top of the cover instead of under the bed? And isn’t he lucky that you monsters won’t have to crawl under there to see his work?

Motif: I can read so many emotions in the man’s expression. What is he thinking about?

Anthony Russo: I’m not really sure what he’s thinking. But fall is such a big event. And the idea of this one leaf representing this big event — he’s anticipating it. It could mean many things. It could be political, apocalyptic, the seasons. It’s a little like a poem. It doesn’t have a specific beginning or an end. It just is.

Motif: When do you feel inspired?

AR: It’s kind of my business to be inspired. I have to come to the studio every day and try to inspire myself. What you read, what you hear, what you see, what you love, what you hate. And since I’m in the business of recording my feelings, ideas and emotions, it’s more of an everyday attempt at trying to be inspired, because that’s where the work comes from. So I don’t know if there are specific times, but I can be inspired in a hammock or I can be inspired climbing a mountain.


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