We had the good fortune of connecting with Josie DeVora and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Josie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’m a very positive person. Growing up I had a pretty rough time. From growing up gay, dealing with domestic abuse and poverty. I have learned to be grateful for everything, everyone and everyday I am gifted. Starting my artistic career and brand was a risk, but one I was willing to take. In my eyes taking risks can only give you positive and always better results. Thanks to taking risks, over the last couple years I have been able to do things I could have never dreamed of. I have been a guest and hosted panels at conventions all over the US, Vended my art at art markets, galleries and even online. I have had the honor of creating children’s books, designing apps, animating for TV, comedy shows, podcasts. I have also been able to collaborate with major brands like Disney, Lucas Film, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Hot Topic, Box Lunch and many more. All of these opportunities became available because I was willing to take risks.

To me it’s like applying for a job. Many people get nervous and stress out over it. Yes, you need the money but does that stress and pressure really help you in any way? I figure look at it this way, YOU ALREADY DON’T HAVE THE JOB. It’s that simple. You go in, it’s horrible and they hate you. FINE, you already didn’t have the job before going in, so nothing lost. If it goes well then GREAT! You have lost nothing and gained everything.

It helps that I am a genuinely happy person and enjoy making people laugh. I learned that from Roger Rabbit. People love to laugh, just ask Jessica. Like many people I get nervous and have doubts sometimes but I don’t let them stop me. One of the fun ways I like to torture myself is by agreeing or signing up for big projects. Like speaking in front of hundreds of people, taking on jobs I have yet to fully explore, etc. For sure I get that voice in my head that whispers “you can’t do this” or “that’s a lot of people to talk in front of”. It’s natural to have doubts but I have learned that the quicker I remind myself that there is nothing to lose, the quicker I can get into the spotlight and enjoy it. And for me there is no bigger rush that getting through the speech, completing the project or seeing the final animation come to life and say to myself “I did it!”

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My brand RoosterPOP is a collection of cartoon and movie nostalgia mixed in with a sense of humor. I have ADHD and a heavy helping of LGBT. When I was little my escape from problem was watching cartoons and movies. Being an 80s baby was awesome! For me cartoons and movies are like time capsules that I can revisit. Taking me back to a time and place that I enjoyed. My art reflects that through lots of pop culture references to movies and cartoons with my own twist. I love making scary characters cute and creating worlds where they could coexist. But mostly my art reminds me of when I was a kid and I love making that connection with so many others.

One of my favorite pieces that I am proudest of is one I titled “Funny Guy”. It’s the one I am most recognized for but it really is very special to me. It’s a tribute piece I did for Robin Williams. I started and finished it the night he passed away, I was crying like a baby the whole time. To me he was like an uncle that I never met but always brought me joy. Coming over and making me laugh as the Genie in Aladdin, Peter in Hook or as Mrs.Doubtfire. He brought me so much joy and out of my darkest of places just through laughter.

It’s an image scattered with all the masks that he wore as these characters. Smiling, holding a Peter Pan mask because he seams to have been the boy who never grew up. On the mirror there is a note taped up that says something I wrote that seemed to fit. It says “The louder they laugh, the harder it is to hear you cry”. A nod to my own childhood using his movies to escape my own pains and how I used jokes and slapstick to distract from my bad situation. It seems like a dark piece but to me it’s a joyous one. When I show it to people and they get emotional I remind the that it’s a bitter sweet. It sucks that he passed away, but it won’t take away all of the joy and happiness he brought into this world and how he changed it for the better by just being in it.

As a brand I am constantly learning and evolving. Creating new designs and merchandise based on my inspiration, research and manufacturing. Every show that I do I learn a new way to streamline my process and business. Every single convention I have done has taught me a new way of what works and what does not. Small lessons as a business like deciding to put prices on the merchandise or on a sign. How much stock to bring. What new concepts to explore and how important display is when it comes to your brands story line.

My latest adventure is taking me somewhere I did not know I needed to go. It goes back to the “risk” conversation. I am now the co-creator of a gaming studio. I am also the Art Director for our first fully fledged game. We have been working on it for about 8 months now. It’s a fighting game inspired by real life drag queens. Like Mortal Kombat, but less gay than Mortal Kombat 😉 Not only have I created all of the character concepts, backgrounds and concepts for the demo. But I also have the satisfaction of working with some of my closest friends. It’s called DRAGHER and the Kickstarter goes live in January 2022.

We have built out a full demo with playable character and level complete with menus and all. It’s a game about the community, created by the community for the community. We want to not only pay drag queens for their likeness, V.O. and time but also involve the community in making this game. We are mainly shooting for crowd funding and are innovating new ways to involve the gaming community. Through the Kickstarter and Patreon we are working on ways to make the gaming community, LGBTQ and Allied communities come together. Like adding credits to the end of the game for everyone that helped fund it, adding patrons to backgrounds and so much more. I see so many possibilities to not only make a fun and silly game but new ways to bring awareness to this community that has never really been fully catered to in gaming before. At least not with the thought and care that we have put into it anyways. Check out DragHer.game for more info on it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
YIKES! It’s L.A., There is always something new and fun to see or do.

Places to eat: Best place to eat during the week is Angel’s Tacos. There are only a handful of them scattered across L.A. They are street vendors with the BEST tacos and Agua Fresca you will ever eat. ANY Korean BBQ place in KoreaTown, they are all amazing. If you want to treat yourself to something special on a Sunday look up Smorgasburg Los Angeles. It is a popup market full of some of the most delicious eclectic foods you will ever try,. Thank me later.

Places to visit: For sure, Little Tokyo. Every time I go there and see the people and the shops I am inspired, also a great place to get some boba. Los Angeles County Arboretum is a lovely place to go for a long walk with some friends. The museums and obviously go visit Universal and Disney! I mean unless you hate yourself 😉

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Hmmmm, that’s a hard one, I have many friends to be grateful for. Many opportunities I have had are thanks to a new friend, recommendation or connection I have made thanks to a friend. In no particular order, I am grateful for the support my family when it comes to supporting my business. Dane Snyder an amazing voice actor who has not only been a great friend but also helped connect me with many opportunities. Michael Broder and Sandy Martin creators of Galaxycon for supporting my art, brand and family in more ways than they will ever know. I also am constantly inspired by my fellow artist who run there own business and brands. I have been blessed with piers who hustle and move their butts every day to find new ways to grow bigger and better as artist and creators. Artist that you need to look up like : Artist Abe, SprinkleBat, Crescent Creepers, Unicorn Crafts, Critterosity, SparkleBombb, BlueOneThirty, Bean Police and so many more. I also have to give a big shoutout to my friends Laura and Fabian for the constant support and advice. And also Ian and Jay who have supported me as fellow entrepreneurs, financially and as friends. My next BIG project is thanks to them and their belief in me and what I do. (shameless plug) check out DragHer.game for more details 😉

Website: www.RoosterPOP.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roosterpop/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roosterpop?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoosterPOP

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgutHjr3SEkrhf9pUhujrpg

Other: Follow me on all the Social Medias with @RoosterPOP Additional Websites: www.JosieDeVora.com www.DragHer.game PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/RoosterPOP LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/RoosterPOP

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