The artist and artwork for The Snail & The Butterfly have as interesting of story as the words and author of the book. Trubelo Development chatted with artist CJ the Kid to learn how he started drawing and painting and the origin of his snail, butterfly, and mushroom creations.
TD: When did you start drawing and painting?
CJ: I started drawing way back when I was a kid in school, in the backs of books, creating little characters and doodling around. In 2011 I really made a decision to explore drawing and painting.
TD: How did you end up living up in Vegas?
TD: What do you think about, feel when you are painting or drawing?
CJ: I think about life and my experiences most of the time. Usually my painting is emotionally charged with experiences I’ve had.
TD: How would you describe the style of your art and what it represents?
CJ: My style of art… I’ll leave that up to the viewers. It’s expressive and it’s true to me. Overthinking would make it feel like work.
TD: When did you start drawing snails, butterflies, and mushrooms?
I started drawing snails and mushrooms as a kid but over the years have developed them and they’ve been recurring characters throughout my years of visual art.
TD: What did you think when Dougie Coop pitched the idea of the children’s book? Why did you agree to do the project?
CJ: Dougie first pitched the idea back in 2016 just before I left Vegas to move back to Australia. The idea was a great idea to me, but I let it sit and brew, for about 5 years, then Dougie reached out again with I real drive to bring this story to life, so I said let’s do it. Timing.
TD: What was it like collaborating so far away and with the time difference?
CJ: It’s been really cool collaborating oceans apart. The time difference is a big one but we found our groove eventually. Throwing whimsical little cartoon ideas back and forward has been fun.
TD: What do the snail and butterfly represent to you?
CJ: To me the snail and butterfly represent pure imagination, freedom and playfulness.
TD: What are you currently working on?
Currently I’m looking for a new art studio so I can start building my next show. Everyday I touch on some form of art and creativity. Without a studio to make a mess I’ve been creating a lot of digital artworks on the iPad.
TD: How can people follow and stay informed about you and your work?
CJ: People can follow my journey on Instagram @cjthekid.