American Illustration Profiles Interview: Ross MacDonald
Ross MacDonald is an illustrator, designer, book artist, letterpress operator, graphic artist, cartoonist, and more. He has created retro-styled illustrations in multiple styles and formats for an extensive list of magazines and newspapers. MacDonald is also a brilliant comic artist; his illustrated graphics have graced the pages of numerous publications and several books. And he has had a very successful second career creating what he calls “graphics props” for movies and TV shows, including the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film, Hateful Eight.
“Illustration is easy…you just have to stare at a blank sheet of paper till the blood runs out of your ears,” reads a statement on MacDonald’s website. He was described by Tor.com’s Irene Gallo as “every art director’s dream to work with,” in large part because of his ability to combine artful illustrations with a designer’s sense of graphic storytelling. MacDonald is also a talented writer. Immediately following the 2012 school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he wrote this powerfully moving commentary (MacDonald and his family live in Newtown, Connecticut, where the shootings took place).
Many years ago MacDonald created a funny parody poster with James Victore called Get Tough! Self Defense for the Graphic Arts, that quickly appeared on the walls of many art director’s offices and design studios. It’s a great example of MacDonald’s ability to engage, delight, and inform his audience, all while making great art.