Victor Pross is a professional artist born and raised in Toronto now residing in British Columbia. He is known for his “extreme caricaturing”. He has many high profile commissions to his credit including painting Ron Howard’s caricature portrait as a gift for the famous director as well as painting various agents of the William Morris Agency. He has rendered numerous International celebrities and Canadian media personalities for commercial and private purposes. Victor Pross has been interviewed on television shows such as: Canada AM, Breakfast Television, News at Noon and has been pegged by Canadian Media as “Canada’s foremost caricature artist.” He has worked on various posters, comic books and CD covers bringing to each work his own unique style. He is currently instructing an art class as well as offering his services as an editorial caricaturist. Victor’s first book, Icons & Idols, will feature a collection of the artist’s paintings and drawings and is now available.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Victor. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Icons & Idols: Pop Goes the Culture is my first book.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
I wrote and illustrated comics as a kid—but I wouldn’t want to see them published. I forget the titles.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I have perhaps twenty rejections from publishers under my belt. So I decided to go the self-published route and that is what I would recommend to any first time writer. It is very nasty out there and lot of these places wouldn’t know talent if it sat up and kissed their butts. That’s not hyperbole, that is a fact.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
It made me feel like crap. But I simply plunged on. What else could I do? Give up? Not me.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A place called AuthorHouse. They agreed to do an illustrated book and they are a large company. It all fit together.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
It felt wonderful. I didn’t really celebrate per se, but I did treat myself and a girlfriend to a nice dinner.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I utilized the internet and had a book reading at a local book store in town. I read selections from my book and showcased original art work seen in the book.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
I would have self-published. If a mainstream publisher approached me, I wouldn’t turn them down. Don’t get me wrong. But man, it is a heart-breaking—ass breaking—process trying to get published.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
No, Icons & Idols remains my first book thus far. I have grown as a visual artist and writer simply because of experience.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
It would have been better if I devoted each day to getting the book completed instead of taking days off at a time. It is hard work. There is no getting away from that.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
Icons & Idols is gaining attention. That is good! I think the book would appeal to most anybody.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
I have always been interested in being an actor.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
No, I am a visual artist first, and a writer second.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
Older and better.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Life is too short. If you have a passion for it—do it. If you are not into it and just fooling yourself—then do something else. It’s either/or.
Thank you for this interview, Victor, and we wish you much success!