Interview with ADRIAN COX: Your childhood ambition: I always knew that I wanted to be an artist of some kind when I grew up, but not necessarily a painter. For a while I really wanted to become a novelist. I would draft detailed outlines of epic science fiction, fantasy, and western stories. Of course, having the attention span of a nine year old, none of these stories ever moved past the planning stage. Something you treasure: It may seem corny to say, but my family. They’ve always been incredibly supportive of my chosen path as an artist, even when the way forward was unclear. Your worst habit: I have a tendency to become a bit of a hermit when I’m in the throws of making my work. Because I live above my studio right now, there are weeks when I hardly leave my building at all. I sometimes have to remind myself just how necessary a work-life balance is. The aspect of your work that’s most important to you: Just to be clear, I’m not a formalist in any way. However, the craft of painting continues to enchant me with every work that I make. I’m always trying to challenge my understanding of material and color, and to find new and more sophisticated ways of constructing a picture. It’s really a lifelong pursuit. Your first job: Waiter. I’ve worked as a waiter a number of times in my life, and I can think of few jobs so grueling and emotionally exhausting. Be good to your servers, and always tip well. Someone whose work you highly recommend: One of my closest friends in graduate school was E. Thurston Belmer (http://www.ethurstonbelmer.com/). He’s a phenomenal figurative painter that makes darkly psychological paintings in a sort of Neo-Baroque style. Our conversations were formative to the work that I’m making now. See more of Adrian Cox’s work here.