As an author and illustrator of several children’s books, Anthony Zart knows that in Cleveland, artists can’t just kid around with hopes to succeed.
As a lifelong resident of the city and proud member of its ever-growing creative community, Anthony attests that nothing is a “gimme” in this town, but he’s proven that if you put in the work you’ll find that opportunities do exist here. In Anthony’s inspirational case, he’s created a few opportunities of his own as a freelancer, co-founder of a local print and design shop, and creator of the loveable mascot, Grobin the Dog.
Grobin is a fun-loving toon styled straight out of the 1920s. He embarks on a series of adventures in Anthony’s previous books, Home Sweet Home and Evergreen Meanie. Each tale pleasantly pops with a host of rubbery retro characters and imagery.
This style isn’t just eye candy for the kids. It’s a blast of nostalgia for adults who grew up watching classic animation. And now, just in time for the season, Anthony is releasing his newest tale in the Grobin Universe, Halloween Hijinx. This homage to the days of Halloween past follows three mischievous hobo ghosts, the Boo Bums, on their search for candy.
In celebration of the new book release, Anthony and his partner Hannah Manocchio are hosting a pop-up event at Snakes + Acey’s, their studio on Murray Hill Road in Cleveland. With Snakes + Acey’s, Anthony and Hannah have created a go-to for unique in house designs. Stocked with rad hand-printed and screened Cleveland apparel, including a line themed after the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, the shop also offers custom creative services to suit any illustrated occasion. For the pop-up, they’re decking the studio with decorations, costumes, and treats, bringing the spirit of Halloween Hijinx to life.
Between all of his work, Snakes + Acey’s, freelance jobs, and pet projects, Anthony displays an exceptional flair for design. Whether crafting fine line sketches or retro cartoony illustrations, Anthony’s adaptability no matter the project has led him down the path of many mediums. Posters. Packaging. Clothing. Concept art. In any form, Anthony’s artwork is sleek and skillful. As he describes, Anthony’s ideas are seeded by the random “whatever” in life. It’s clear that his nostalgic sensibility, sharp illustrative talents, and keen eye for detail are a perfect brew for eye catching design.
Although Anthony balks at the thought of the future, it does appear bright for him. As he continues to balance his work with personal projects and sleep, he’s got more books planned, a short animated anthology on paper, and a completed draft of an actual book he hopes to finish, eventually. To take a look at some Anthony’s art, head to anthonyzart.com for sporadic updates. For screen printing and apparel, check out snakesandaceys.com. And for a journey into the Grobin Universe, dig into grobinthedog.com and follow Anthony on instagram @grobinthedog.