GD Symposium: Russell Cobb Head of the AOI

19 02 2009

Russell Cobb


Russell Works alone, keeps many sketchbooks – Observation Ideas diaries memories stories. The backbone of what he does.

In the 80’s his school had no computer.

Sketchbook is a window to the persons raw creative ability etc.

Uses his sketchbooks daily.  “from one month to the next you’ll loose over 90% of your ideas.” so there is good reason to document them.

Observation is very very important.  Spent time going round the tube sketching people. An obsession with observation.

Always working away at things that interest him.

Helps to quickly visualise something. The ability to be a thinker, to have ideas. Obviously style finish etc is important , but the ideas underneth the veneer is important.

10,00 spreads of sketcbooks. :/ in 1994.

There is no logic it just pours out of life, observation.

Remain inquisitive – Stay curious.

Even writing can be so important, capturing raw thoughts.

Self Promotion

  • Don’t just slip into the marketplace.  “Create your own market”
  • Send out a postcard that is what you likeo do. Do the things that inspire you.
  • produced about 36 cards (collect and keep idea)
  • won the aoi gold award for self promotion 4 times.

Personal work

Keep working wth themes that inspire you, or even just hold your interest.

Published work

Book covers, billboards, making boring themes into good work. What people see, that is out there can lead to more commisions.



forming a group of illustrators – have a group “brand” and a group portfolio. Self critique each other.




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