Corey Phillips, artist of the Take the Crayon coloring book, talks drawing the Royals, hanging out with Coolio and more in The Pitch Questionnaire
Twitter Handle: @drawingcorey
Hometown: Independence, Missouri
Current neighborhood: Kansas City, Kansas
What I do: I draw, I read, I write. I market. I publish. I distribute. I do a little bit of everything.
How did you come up with the idea for your Royals coloring book, Take the Crayon? It was actually an unplanned thing. When I heard that Alex Gordon had been signed back by the Royals, I was excited and I decided to draw a portrait of him and post it to Facebook. I got such tremendous positive feedback that I ended up drawing three more and I realized that the coloring book had to happen, and that I had to be the lucky one to make it happen.
What’s your drink? Jägerbomb and Caribou Lous are popular. I have a particular proclivity toward procuring a pint of gin, drinking half of it and then filling the rest up with orange juice, only to finish the pint again.
Where’s dinner? Chiusano’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in the Legends Outlet Mall in Kansas City, Kansas. They have the best pizza I have ever had. I have eaten there so much that my DNA is 2 percent Chiusano’s Pizza.
What’s on your KC postcard? Downtown KC lit up in blue lights at night, during these past Royals World Series games in October. For me, that magic will forever live within the memory of gazing transfixed at those blue lights downtown.
Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when…” Our baseball team won the World Series, and we celebrated without rioting or tearing our city up like other cities have done. Kansas City showed a lot of class.
“Kansas City screwed up when…” They failed to introduce and properly pass a recreational marijuana consumption, regulation and distribution amendment, like Colorado’s Amendment 64.
“As a kid, I wanted to be …” An artist. I wanted to make comic books, inspirational, touching, adventurous, autobiographical comic books. I also wanted to be Batman.
“I’ve been known to binge watch…” Netflix. Recently, I discovered an older show called Terra Nova. I binge watched the whole season in about a day, only to be crestfallen upon finding out the show was canceled.
“I can’t stop listening to…” Insane Clown Posse. There’s something about the mythology of the Dark Carnival, something about the air of mystery in a big-top circus tent, surrounded by lights and games and prizes and shows and rides. Sometimes music can intervene in your life at a time when you don’t think anything else will. I may not be a kid anymore, but It won’t ever stop being special to me. Shout out to all my Juggalos and Juggalettes! Whoop whoop.
“I just read…” The Game of Thrones books.
The best advice I ever got: From my grandfather Edward Michael Phillips, in July 2002, the week before he passed away. During one of our many conversations about spirituality, life, death and the beyond, he said to me, “Corey, just listen. You can learn so much if you just listen.” Those words grow more meaningful the older I get.
Worst advice? “Be patient.” If you want something, go out and get it! Don’t let anything stop you!
What is your spirit animal? Batman
Who is your hero? My cat, Dark Knight
Who (or what) is your nemesis? Sleep. I love the quiet of the night. It’s peaceful. It’s serene. I used to have a problem with sleep paralysis, and even though I haven’t had a bedtime in 15 years, I still resist any attempts to fall asleep at a regularly scheduled time.
My favorite toy as a child: A cheap sketch pad from the Dollar Store and a set of pencils. Or a library card. Endless books.
My dating triumph/tragedy? The day after Christmas last year, I took an adventure to the mountains of Colorado with the love of my life and her two amazing daughters. The 12 months that followed were full of experiences and feelings I will never forget. Some good, some bad, all deep. After going through five jobs, three houses and three states, I have to say the thing that was my triumph turned into my tragedy, as the adventure and fun wore away to reveal my lack of maturity and stability. That loss helped me realize the earnestness of making an impact on the world. The importance of sometimes taking things seriously. Stardust.
My brush with fame: A few years back, I hung out with Coolio. I was in line at a KMK, Kitty, ICP, Coolio concert on Seventh Street and this shady looking dude asked me where he could find a mall to buy X-Box games. Turns out, the shady dude was Coolio, and we kicked it on the steps for a few minutes talking about ICP and Juggalos. He showed me his hatchetman tattoo and said he just got it that day. I got a picture with him and a great story out of it.
My recent triumph: Waking up having made more money while I was asleep than I ever have at a single day at any job I’ve been privileged enough to hold. That felt kinda good.
See Phillips’ Royals coloring book at royalscoloringbook.com.