Having graduated from Otago Polytechnic in 2012 where he majored in Communication Design - Illustration Major, Josh has been pursuing his passion in art ever since, and he works using ballpoint pens as his preferred medium.
We have invited Josh today to share with us some of his achievements and artworks, as well as his drawing tools.
Used with credit to Hanna Bae
Qn: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure, my name is Josh, and I work under the name Crimson City Art. I’ve been drawing since I was young and have always wanted to try and pursue it as a job. I’d say I’m mostly self-taught; I did take art classes back in high school but a lot of my development since then has been a result of trial and error!
Qn: I understand from your website that you tend to draw using ballpoint pens – what kind/type of ballpoint pens do you currently use?
Yes I use a variety of different pens - at the moment I like to use BIC 4-in-1 pens, it’s just more convenient to have a bunch of different colors in one pen. I tend to use the neon one quite often because it has brighter colors such as pink and teal that I use a lot.
I used to use off brand pens that I would buy in bulk because they were so cheap, but they weren’t always great quality and would often run out quite fast.
Qn: Other than ballpoint pens, do you have other tools you use for drawing?
Usually I will also use a Sharpie pen for bold outlines, which I think is a key element in most of my drawings. Also if I’m working on wood, I will sometimes use white-out which will make the picture stand out a bit more.
Qn: What paper do you use for your drawings?
I usually just use standard A3 sized drawing paper (11 x 16”). Sometimes I will go bigger if I have the time to do something larger, but I rarely go smaller than A3 because I find it hard to fit in all the details. As I mentioned, sometimes I’ll work on wood, but that always feels a bit riskier than paper so I just save it for special occasions!
Qn: Can you share with us some of your favorite drawings?
Sure, I’m still pretty fond of my first drawing (below) I did with ballpoint pens, although I hope that I’ve learned a lot since then, but it still holds a lot of memories for me. I really enjoyed the process of drawing it and how it seemed to almost develop on it’s own, and I find now that the pieces I’m most happy with are usually ones that have developed in a similar way, where they can develop naturally and I can just enjoy the process of drawing.
Qn: I see from your website that some of your artworks have been displayed in exhibitions and shows, can you share with us more?
Yes, I had the chance to have a small exhibition in my hometown, which was really cool because some of my family and friends were able to come, so it was a really nice experience. I was also recently able to have an exhibition over in London, which was a really exciting opportunity! It was held at Dreamspace Gallery and featured some of my black-and-white original works, as well as some t-shirts and posters and so on.
Qn: I understand also that you have clients such as Cyberdog Clothing, Solarwyrm Press, Lowers Clothing, Longboarding for Little Hearts and Dover Publications - Can you tell us more about what you do for such clients?
It depends on what the client needs, for instance with Cyberdog I was able to redraw some of my existing work to better fit their brand and work well on a t-shirt. For Dover I produced a coloring book for their Creative Haven series, which will be out early next year – I learned a lot from that project! Occasionally people will approach me for private commissions too, which is always fun, and in general I enjoy getting the opportunity to work with different people on these projects.
Qn: Do you mind sharing what are some of the high and low points that you experienced in your art career?
I guess I wouldn’t call them ‘low points’, but there’s always times where you’re in-between projects and you’re wondering what the next step will be, that’s always a little scary.
I would say the high points are simply having the opportunity to pursue this as a job and create artworks that people respond to, as well as having the opportunity to do exhibitions and shows and things like that, it has been a lot of fun. I’d also consider the people I meet at shows and markets or even online that are so supportive and enthusiastic about my work as a definite high point - it’s always fun and encouraging to meet them!
Qn: Do you have any advice you can offer to aspiring artists?
I think it’s just important to enjoy the process of drawing or painting or whatever you do.
Qn: What are some art-book/s on your wish list?
Qn: Which other artist/s do you think we should interview next?
Wendy Matenga does really beautiful floral paintings and has been exhibiting them in New Zealand, I’d love to recommend her if she’d like to be interviewed!