Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . . Joel Cook

My apologies for not getting this post out this morning, but I’ve been in the midst of moving from one house to another. I did not want to miss an opportunity to share my Tiny Talk, especially on a TUESDAY!

Joel’s self portrait

I met Joel at the SCBWI 25th anniversary conference at the Westin in Houston. This was where I got to know Joel. He not only is he a terrific illustrator but a great dancer as well.

Joel is an art teacher in Houston by day and an illustration all day long.  He is a big fan of art, archaeology, robots and strange stuff.  Some of his that he illustrated are The Littlest Vampire Story and Mayor Jalapeno Hal. He is also extremely talented as comic illustrator. Any kid would love to get their hands on these. Joel likes to work in a variety of media: from traditional to digital.


I asked Joel a couple of simple questions to get to know him a little better.

ME: Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.

JOEL: Um, let’s see. My studio is also a pseudo art gallery. I collect comic book and children’s art. I have been very fortunate to collect pieces that I have always loved…. I still have a bucket list of around 10 artists whom I would love to get a piece of original art. It’s like treasure hunting sometimes.

ME: Sounds like a fun hobby.

ME: What is your greatest accomplishment?

JOEL: I don’t think I have one that outshines the others, but I have been very fortunate to have a “normal” job (teaching art) that I love going to each and every day. This year I am also teaching sculpture and thinking that I didn’t live a full, complete, exciting life.

ME: I’ve seen some of your sculpture work on Facebook. I love it.

ME: What is your greatest fear?

JOEL: I don’t believe in being scared, which probably sounds macho…. I try to make most days count. I think if I did have a fear, it’s probably being on my deathbed one day, and thinking that I didn’t live a full, complete, exciting life.

ME: I remember teaching. Every day is an exciting adventure, lol.

ME: If you could be a book character who would you be and why?

JOEL: Hmmm. I would love to be Fone Bone. Living an adventure filled with danger, intrigue, romance, and humor… and the occasional Cow Race.

ME: Who doesn’t love a good ol’ cow race?

ME: Describe your illustrating style.

JOEL: I would say that the artists that have influenced me. I would like to think the characters that I draw have an energy that is just waiting to explode. I don’t think my characters have a quietness to them, if that makes sense. It is something I am working on.

ME: One can fully understand what you mean when they look at your illustrations. The illustrations speak volumes. There is an intensity to them, if you know what I mean, lol.

It was a pleasure Joel doing my mini interview with you. Those Houston Kiddos are lucky to have such a talented art teacher. I bet they’re mesmerized each day with your illustrations. I wish you much success and hope that we can meet up again at another SCBWI conference.


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