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C.W. Moss Starts Unicorn Industries/Grey Rainbow

May 3, 2012
Spotlight Category: Alumni
Cole Moss (’11 Communication Arts)
Unicorn Industries/Grey Rainbow
 
I’m the chief illustrator, primary concept developer, full-time researcher, and resident fool at Unicorn Industries/Grey Rainbow. I am working to make projects that are for adults, but can be understood by children.
 
Starting up
My thought was that I would keep making work about things that interested me, and naturally, if the idea was worthy of discussion, the project would gather its own audience within a reasonable spectrum. With each subsequent project, I work to alienate myself while attracting a stronger, hopefully hungrier audience.
 
Biggest reward
For example, on Sunday, February 26th, 2012: losing sleep, mid-afternoon runs, close proximity to a quality blender, opportunity to work relatively clothed for weeks on end, developing new constraints to keep myself productive, and the loss of apprehension when it comes to choosing socks that match.
 
Biggest challenge
Doing my best impression of a factory, while trying to not think about the smokestacks of others.
 
Breakthrough moment
I had just taken a road trip through northern California. My friend had asked me to demonstrate what I did to promote my work, and invariably the book. One evening, tucked away in a run-down 1970′s strip motel, I pulled up a few humor sites that I had initially missed and sent a few cold promotional emails to them. A few days later, I was standing in line at LAX heading back to Missouri. I feel a buzz in my pocket and it’s a text message from a friend saying that my book was on the front page of a really large social news aggregate website called Reddit. One of the websites that I had emailed put my book on their blog, and it was picked up by a handful of other sites immediately.
 
From one little email to a humor website, the floodgates opened. Within the week, I had over 200,000 visitors to my website, and by the end of the month I had offers from a handful of great publishers to produce my book. (The book is for sale on Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble or Urban Outfitters.)
 
Thank you, Otis!
Otis gave me the opportunity to explore every whim and passing fancy. It allowed me the chance to delude myself, rationalize my actual skill set, and then proceed to make things that, in their outward appearance, seem relevant to society.
 

 

 

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