There's dedication... And then there's Dedication. Team Coco fan (and amazing artist) Jess Smart Smiley Dedicated (with the big "D") himself to drawing a picture of Coco for every new episode we've done for the past three months! So after hours of labor, tons of shows, and 75 original works of art, Jess Smart Smiley has earned his place in this week's very special Team Coco Fan Friday! LET'S DO THIS:
Team Coco: What made you start this epic art journey? Why did you choose Conan?
Jess Smart Smiley: Conan is the best. From the show he seems like he'd be open to a goofy project like mine and I thought it was worth a shot. Will Draw for Coco started out as a kind of joke, where I would get on the Conan O'Brien show by drawing a portrait of him for every episode until my book came out. It sounded crazy enough that I thought people might get into it and actually make it happen. SPOILER ALERT: it didn't happen.
TC: What was the piece that you're the most proud of? Is there one piece where you phoned it in?
JSS: I tried to make each picture stand on its own, and to learn new methods and techniques along the way. There are definitely some that just didn't turn out at all like I wanted 'em to, and other days where I had to scrap the three portraits I'd already attempted and start over. #73 is one of my favorites, as are #33 and #21 (a full Where's Waldo-like page, where I've hidden La Bamba, Conan, Andy, Bearded Conan and Triumph).
TC: How did you first get into art? Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
JSS: When I was little I was an inventor and drew pictures as a way of describing my inventions. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the act of drawing itself and I've been hooked ever since! In five years I hope to be making better pictures and stories for books, games and comics.
... And all that hard work has paid off: This Fall, Jess & Top Shelf Comics will be releasing Jess' new graphic novel, "Upside Down: A Vampire Tale", which is a 144-page graphic novel, starring Harold - a boy vampire who loses his teeth! He meets up with Vermillion (the last witch on earth, of course) and soon finds himself caught up between a piano, a mad scientist and the end of the world! Sound sweet? Of course it does! You can pre-order the spooky tale for all ages (and just in time for Halloween!) right here. BAM!
Now... On to the rest of our Fan Friday questionnaire!
1. Please state your name, age and hometown for the record. (also, your twitter handle, if you have one)
Jess Smart Smiley, 28, Orem, Utah. @jess_smiley
2. Relationship status?
Married to my best friend, with two children and a garden.
3. Favorite snack?
Um...two scoops of Conan?
4. What was the last good movie you saw or the last good song you heard?
Sherlock Holmes just gets better every time I watch it and Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz is nearly always on repeat.
5. How longhave you been Team Coco? What’s your earliest Conan memory?
I was born and branded Team Coco. The late 90s were great, with the "In The Year 2000" sketches.
6. How do you spend a typical day?
Begging coins from people in exchange for making terrible pictures.
7. Tell us something about you that no one else knows.
I've seen aliens. Real aliens!
8. Name five things - besides Conan - that make you laugh!
Funny situations involving funny people, things and places
9. What’s the one thing you would never ever do; not for a million dollars or all the chocolate in the world?
I would never refuse!
10. What would you like to see more of from Team Coco?
Ted Turner is a classic, the Photoshop spots are amazing, and I just love how self-deprecating Conan can be. More oomph?
Wow! Jess, from all of here here at Team Coco - and our show - THANK YOU for all your hard work. What you've done is absolutely amazing, and we couldn't be more honored or flattered! You can find more of Jess and his awesome artwork at his blog- and make sure to go buy Jess' book and help support your fellow Team Coco fan and artist! That will do it for this week... As always, leave your name in the comments below to be considered for a future Fan Friday. Have a great weekend, y'all! Peace out!