Saturday, 4 October 2008

Josh Cochran

Josh Cochran is someone whose work I've vaguely followed (as much as I've ever followed any illustrators work) since before foundation. The thing I really like about his work, apart from the kind of rough, sketchy quality of it is the limited and interesting colour palette and the way the shapes of colour don't fit with the lines at all. I have righteously copied both of these things and I'm ashamed of myself for doing so any everything, but I think it's neat.

I also have a transcript of an e-mail I sent to him over Summer ostensibly for the Design Practice File but he didn't get back in touch in time. I had to chase him up on it and everything, goddamnit.


hi Roland,

sorry for not responding!! I get a lot of emails from students and sometimes I get behind on my responses, hope this helps..



One of the features I like most about your work is the vague roughness of the drawings, whilst still being very detailed. Is this an intuitive way of working, or did you consciously cultivate this?

I think this was a fairly intuitive way of working for me. I've always had a rushed way of drawing and have felt more comfortable staying loose in my linework. I think this tendency of mine has been evolving and hopefully with be constantly evolving as I keep learning and gaining experience.

The thing that has really stuck with me from your work is the limited colour palette. The colours from all your pictures are quite muted and subtle, which are colours I like a lot, but my colours tend to run away with me a bit. It looks like you mix them yourself with paints, is this true? Do you ever use Photoshop to create your colours?

Actually I almost always use photoshop to mix my colors. Even when I work traditionally by hand I sometimes like to create color keys on the computer before I work by hand. I think my color sense has come from years of painting both the figure and landscapes.

And either way – why do you use the colours you do? I mean the mixes are very interesting, do you have an image in your head of the kind of colour (if that's even really possible) you want or do you put time aside to just play and create interesting colours for later use?

Color choice is a fairly personal taste. I really can't explain why some people gravitate towards some combinations more than other combinations. Of course I have knowledge of basic color combinations that work well together and I like to keep pushing these boundaries to come up with the colors that I come up with. Sometimes I get stuck on certain colors, and will create a lot of pieces in that same scheme...until I get sick of it and move on to something else.

And finally then how has your view of illustration changed as you've become more successful? Is it something you do as a release or do you see it more as just a job?

This is a great question, my view of illustration has changed dramatically since I've become more successful. Theres a whole business side to illustration that I never really learned much in school, that has become increasingly more complex the longer I work....branding, audience, communication, ideas....all things that I'm constantly learning about and being exposed to. Nowadays, illustration really is much more of a job than a way of release. But I do like to work on personal pieces, draw in my sketchbook, work on different types of projects, collaborate with friends....all these things are ways of release and really end up fueling my more mainstream commercial work.


You'll notice there he says this is a great question and he said that in direct relation to a question I asked thankyou very much.

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