1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hey! My name is Josh Patterson, I’m an Illustrator/Designer based in London. I’ve always been close to the capital and grew up in a very arty household, in St Albans. With my Dad being an Illustrator/Painter and mum a Singer/Actress (cool parents I know) it’s fair to say I’ve been heavily influenced by their creativity. I went to university in Birmingham and moved back down to St Albans post graduation where I was freelancing for about 2 years. However, I’m now working full time as an Illustrator/Designer at a start-up called Yoyo Wallet.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I guess I like to evoke a sense of playfulness and personality into what might sometimes be viewed as quite mundane subjects. A lot of the briefs I get through tend to focus on finance or corporate culture. So being able to turn these into something that looks fun and interesting can be rewarding. Although I love it when the fun projects come through, I sometimes like the restrictions you get with the slightly less inspiring briefs, as they can bring out my best work. I guess this could be because I’m trying harder to make it look better?
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
For my work, I solely use Adobe Illustrator. I much prefer the freedom you get with it over Photoshop, or any other programme. However, in my new job I’m learning a lot more about Sketch and Flinto, and have been doing a lot of app prototyping which I’m finding super interesting. In my spare time, I really enjoy doing large scale abstract paintings. This makes a nice change from working on computers and lets me get a bit more experimental. Plus I hate sitting down all day so it’s nice to be up and about.
4. What is your artistic process like?
First things first – music. Can’t get started on anything unless there’s some form of noise in the background. I also need to make sure I have a super tidy work station otherwise it’s easy to get distracted. Once I’ve read through a brief and made notes, I tend to make about 5-10 super rough thumbnail sketches and then narrow these down to about 2-3 which I will work into further before showing the client. Once the client has approved which concept they would like me to take forward, it’s all systems go! I’ll scan my initial sketch and paste it into Illustrator where I’ll trace over it in vectors. Once all the vector drawings are done and I’ve established a colour palette, I’ll add the texture.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I’d be lying if I said that my work wasn’t heavily influenced by the likes of Owen Davey and David Doran when I was first starting out. I loved their work while I was at uni, and still do now, but as more and more briefs started coming through, my own take on this flat, vector based style began to come out. Nowadays I will take inspiration from anything and everything – I’m definitely an observer of everything.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
This question fits quite well with what I was saying about being an observer. I’m constantly taking a mental note of every cool thing I see and will later figure out a way to somehow incorporating it (whatever it may be) into my artwork. Whether it’s a row of terraced houses that I thought had a nice colour palette or a dog with cool patterns, I’ve got it logged in the mental gallery.
7. Where did you study?
I went to uni in Birmingham – I was there for 3 years then came straight back to London. Birmingham was a really cool city and there’s an amazing creative scene up there – but my heart lies in London. <3
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
At the moment, I’m really enjoying the new things I’m learning in UI/UX. At Yoyo, I’m creating most of the branding and marketing material. However, as I mentioned before I’m assisting in a lot of the app design and prototyping as well – which I’m finding really fascinating. Although I never want to stop illustrating, I could see myself getting more heavily involved with this in the near future. I’m also going to be trying my hand at some animation soon – which I’m super excited about.
9. What about in ten?
Working in a start up does make you think about starting up your own company – so perhaps that could something to think about for the 10-year mark, the only thing is right now I’d have no idea what I’d want to start… Plus I’m not sure how well I would be able to cope with the stress of being a CEO! So maybe I like the idea of it more than I’d actually like it…
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I like to think a sense of personality comes through in my work. I know it’s a cliche thing for an artist to say, but it really does allow me to express myself and get my voice out there. Aesthetically, I guess I’d like to achieve an established style within my work that people will instantly recognise when they see it and say ‘hey, that’s JP!’
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I’m a massive foodie. Living in London is great as well as there are so many options for good food EVERYWHERE. I definitely spend way too much money on food… But I also really love cooking – particularly Oriental cuisine, I’ve deffo got that stir fry down to a tee. I like things super spicy too!
12. Favourite book?
Issun Boshi by Icinori has got to be up there. I love all their work, but this book, in particular, is my favourite. I love their aesthetic – particularly the textures they use. I could stare at their prints all day.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Favourite genre of music is a tricky one as I like everything. Really big on Kurt Vile, War on Drugs and that scene at the moment. I will always have a soft spot for 60s70s classics as well, but then again who doesn’t… Also, anything with a bit of groove in it will get me hooked instantly.
14. What are your hobbies?
Not sure I’d count it as a hobby but I’m pretty big on tattoos and the culture surrounding it. I maybe have a slight addiction to them as well. Other than this though I like to keep fit – running, cycling etc.. and luckily I have quite a sporty girlfriend so she keeps me on my toes!
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Hmm tough question… I’ve never really imagined myself doing anything else. Perhaps something in music maybe? I’ve always liked the idea of being in a band or producing music. I used to play a number of instruments back in the day but haven’t for a while now. I might add that back into my (long) list of hobbies.