Ron Croci Interview

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1. What is your name and when did you start painting? My name is Ron Croci and I started drawing and painting professionally in 1966 at age 21. My first job was making Levi's posters. 2. Why did you start painting? Please allow me to attach this illustrated story of how I was first inspired to be an artist. INSPIRATION: Libraries used to be one of my favorite hangouts. From about eleven years old on I spent many hours each week just strolling along the isles reading anything that caught my eye. Near my home there was a huge beautiful old style library. It was made of brick and had ivy covered walls. I loved it and went there for decades. I don?t use a library as much any more because all the information I could dream of is on the internet. My only regret is that when I was a teenager I used to screw around with my friends so much at this citadel of learning that the head librarian actually banned me for a month. However I digress. This library not only had books galore but thousands of full length musical records. I love music of all kinds and I could check out ten albums a week. I actually gave myself a decent musical education this way. During the course of time I naturally could not bring this treasure trove of borrowed books and records back on time and one day I got a bill for $200.00 in over due fines. That was a lot of money in those days. I was just a kid with a passion for learning so they cut me a break and let it go. I was around seventeen years old at this time and I knew nothing of art. I don?t even remember having crayons as a kid. We had a set of Encyclopedias at home, which no one but me even opened. I used to cut pictures of paintings and sculptures out and secretly save them in my drawers. Now I realize that this was the first seed of my love for pictures.  Well one day as I was sauntering along the isles I found my self in the Art section. I wasn't thinking of anything special except mainly surfing and girls, my two favorite subjects at the time, when I spotted a very thick book sticking out from the row on the shelves. I causally reached out to look at it. It was a huge coffee table size book about the Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. On the cover was his famous painting of melted watches titled THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY.  I was stunned. The first thought that leaped into my mind was, ?That?s what I want to do!? This thought screamed at me, and the image inspired me for the rest of my life. I spent hours looking at the pictures in that book. Time vanished.  I had never felt such an immediate sense of urgency. After that I practically ran the mile distance to my home. The first thing I did was get a piece of card board and a black marker. I had never drawn anything before that, that I could remember, so I didn't know how to start. However, what I did was scribble all over it, then fill in certain sections of the scribbled lines till the image of a screaming face appeared. That was it, I was hooked. I took art in high school and my folks made me a little drawing and painting area in the garage. From that time until now I have never stopped drawing and painting, almost every day, wherever I am. I have tried to do everything an artist should do. I looked up and studied all the famous artists of the past. I did what they did. However I regret that I never traveled to Spain to meet Dali. I drew figures from life, painted scenes directly from my environment, drawn and painted thousands of pictures from my imagination. I have created movies, books, commercials, and murals. I have been in over thirty art galleries and even some museums. I have done this one thing for almost fifty years, and it all started on that one wonderful afternoon in that beautiful library. I have been very blessed because from that moment on I knew what my mission in life was. 3. What are some of your favorite moments in your career? a. My first one man museum exhibit at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco in 1971. b. My first feature film design job, STAR TREK, 1979. c. My first illustrated book, THE COMPLETE STORIES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON, 1981. 12 more were to follow. d. Working on FLINTSTONES, VIVA ROCK VEGAS. I laughed for 8 months. e. Working as a weapons designer on PLANET OF THE APES. f. Three seasons on MAGNUM PI. All I did was draw and surf the Kaiser Bowl. g. Two ROXY posters for Quiksilver. h. Meeting and collaborating with some of the worlds best artists. i. A 46 year career of which I have never stopped using my God given talents. 4. What do you think is the future of your industry? The use of computers has completely dominated the modern artistic profession. Wether an artist draws and paints in a traditional way or not, they have to use them every day. This is the golden age of art. Weather an artist exhibits in galleries, designs automobiles, creates concept art for feature films and commercials, makes greeting cards and t-shirts, or designs soaring overpasses, they must be computer literate. 5. If you could, what is one thing would you do differently? I would not have mouthed off to the very influential people in my industry. 6. What is some advice for young artists trying to have a career like yourself? Learn to draw beautiful women. Master perspective, seascapes, figures, and architecture, then you will always have money in your pocket. Oh, learn how to use your artistic skills to meet women. 7. What is the next big project you have planned? Right now I am trying to fill orders for the four galleries that represent me.


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