Friday, October 7, 2016

Featured Illustrator Bradley Cooper


This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.

1. Your present state of mind?
Currently, my mind is in Michigan, but it tends to wander.

2. What do you do best?
Most recently, it seems to be "bottle flipping" and procrastination, but generally, I'm good with my hands.

3. Where would you like to live?
I was always going to move to the mountains in Montana when I was younger. Then I did the opposite and moved to the city of Chicago.
I loved Chicago while I lived there, but Michigan is home. I'm right where I want to be here in Brighton. Sometimes it takes getting away from Michigan to recognize how great it really is.

4. Your favorite color?
My favorite color is October, but more specifically it is orange.

5. Three of your own illustrations:

6. Your music?
I love music and picking the right playlist for the mood I'm in probably takes up more time than I should allow. When I'm illustrating, it can be anything from old Kinks albums to Bon Iver, Luna, Underworld, Lorde, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison or any GOOD music (I also have my share of closet music.) When I'm thinking or brainstorming, I tend to listen to more ambient, classical, or instrumental music. I avoid lyrics during those times because I have a tendency to hone in on the words. (@Lori Taylor I also listen to a lot of R. Carlos Nakai Native-American flute.)
7. Your biggest achievement?
Yikes! I want my biggest achievement to be more substantial than what I can think of right now.

8. Your biggest mistake?
Pulling reference before I brainstorm. (I get too influenced by what has already been done.)

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?
I'm going to start with my most memorable book as a child which is Raggedy Ann and Andy by Johnny Gruelle. I did not like that book. I didn't care for the story or the characters, but I LOVED that my father read it to us every night for many days. I wasn't a fan of books as a kid, but I admired illustration. "Where the Wild Things Are," and Ezra Jack Keats "Goggles" were my favorites.

10. Your main character trait?
I'm a good listener (except when there is an opening for a little humor.)

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?
Someone that not only accepts who you are but understands who you are. And of course, someone who genuinely enjoys my humor (or at least is confused by it.)

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?
Past mistakes. We are not the same person we were yesterday.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?
Ferdinand the bull: for not even hesitating about being who he is.

14. What moves you forward?
Creating something that surprises me. (Also, a deadline is critical if I want to get it done.)

15. What holds you back?
Systems, process, productivity and analysis paralysis!
16. Your dream of happiness?
In my twenties, I used to have this picture from a magazine. It was a beautiful brunette with a french braid, flannel shirt, and jeans hiking in the mountains with a gorgeous Alaskan Malamute dog. I always said that was my dream. I married a beautiful brunette who wore flannels while backpacking in the mountains with me, but we got a beautiful mutt from the Detroit Humane Society instead of a Malamute, and she was the best dog ever! I also have two incredible boys, so I suppose my new dream of happiness is to regularly feed my imagination by creating what I imagine without fear or excuses.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?
Painter: The Group of Seven's Frank Carmichael, A.J. Casson, Lawren Harris, and Tom Thomson.
Illustrator: Shaun Tan's inventiveness, Chris Van Allsburg's mystery and values, Lisbeth Zwerger motion and energy, Eric Rohmann's composition, Peter McCarty's dreaminess and Howard Pyle's lighting, color, composition, everything!
18. What super power would you like to have?
The ability to stop time. The closest I get to that now is by getting up really early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep.

19. Your motto?
If life was easy where would all the adventures be?

20. Your social media?
Instagram: bradleydcooper
Twitter: @Brad_D_Cooper


  1. I love your work Bradley! So nice getting to know a little more about you!

  2. Hooray for Bradley Cooper. Not easy having the name of a popular movie star, but he's made his own name in illustration. I love your motto: If life were easy, where would all the adventures be?

  3. Sorry I'm checking in late due to traveling, but wow I love the new blog banner so much! It's great to learn more about you, Bradley. Thank you for giving our SCBWI-MI blog the gift of your time and artwork! Thanks, Nina Goebel, for coordinating all of this!

  4. This is enchanting. Love the art. Love the interview. This illustrator is one to watch, for sure.

  5. Absolutely beautiful banner, Bradley! And fantastic interview! :-)