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Saxton Moore is an award winning animation director, and children's book illustrator. He has worked in the fields of design, animation, and illustration for clients such as Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Penguin Publishing, Hasbro Toys, PBS Kids as well as American Greetings. Saxton has recently formed Pixel Pirate Studio to focus creating entertainment, publishing and fun merchandise for children of all ages.

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?

I've always loved to draw since I was a kid. The Muppets actually did it for me at a younger age. I won a Muppet coloring contest in a local newspaper and they showed it in the paper (in my eyes, that made me famous). I knew I wanted to draw from then on out. I lived in front of the TV as a kid watching cartoons like a fanatic. This inspired me to draw as well. I never focused on anything other than drawing. Before I knew it, I was graduating from High school and had to figure out what I was going to do with my life (reality kicked in). Drawing was all I knew I was good at, so I had no choice but to do it for a living.

Who or what inspires you?

My kids, childrens books, Some anime (not the main stream stuff), music, fine art, tattoo art, Gordon Parks, Basquiat, Walt Disney, M. Sasek, Charley Harper, Saul Bass, Mike Giant (Rebel8), Ralph Bakshi, Tim Biskup, Simone Legno, Dawud Anyabwile, Lesean Thomas and the list goes on. I encounter new inspiration daily.

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?

I pretty much taught myself how to draw. But I really started adapting the ability to draw many styles from working on commercial bumpers for Cartoon Network. I did a ton of those spots with different show styles. Anything from Scooby Doo to Johnny Quest, Power Puff Girls, Ed Edd and Eddy, Johnny Bravo, Tiny Toons, Porky Pig. You name it, I've animated it (as far as that network goes). We animated things traditionally back then. It was like illustration boot camp for me.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?

I dunno. I try to do my own thing. I love looking at the work of others, but I try to make my stuff look different. I have many styles that I explore from time to time. Loose and wavy, blocky and abstract. I love to experiment.

What are some of your current projects?

I'm currently self publishing a series of kids books. I'm using to raise money for the printing costs of my 1st book "Yin the Master of Yo". It's about a kid who loves yo-yo's that goes out of his way to get peoples attention. I've also started my own company this year (Pixel Pirate Studio) to house all of my concepts and projects. Kids books being the 1st thing out of the gate. I still do freelance animation and illustration gigs through there as well. I recently finished animating 17 History and Heritage segments for Nick Jr and Nickelodeon, which will air all year around. These segments celebrated inventors, explorers and black history. I even did one on President Barack Obama.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?

At this time, I'm proudest of my 1st self published kids book. It's taken several years to do the illustrations between jobs, now it's finally done. I think it's the first of my own concepts to ever reach completion. I love animation and all the work I've done in the past, but nothing beats holding a body of work in your hands. If you're interested in getting your hands on an advanced copy, go here...

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

I've really been interested in tattoo art lately. I want to learn how to draw on people's skin. I also want to design more toys.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?

Be persistent, Inquisitive and stay focused. Also, surround yourself with other artists that are as good as or better than you. They will help keep you driven.

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?

That's the million dollar question. If you ever figure it out, let me know.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

I'm burned out now! Haha. I try to go to art museums. Venturing out alone helps too.

Finish this sentence. "If I weren't a designer/illustrator I would have been a..."

Chef or a Musician.

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?

True Blood ROCKS!!!!

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