Interview with Joseph William


Abduzeedo is really proud to bring always fresh and exclusive content to our readers, including exclusive interviews with emerging talents of the creative world. Today we interviewed Joseph William, a skillfull illustrator and designer from London, England that's beginning as a fulltime freelance illustrator.

You can see more from Joseph on the following links:






1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for art and illustration?

Not a problem, thanks for the interest!

I guess Art and Design were the only things I was really interested in when I was at school, I didn't pay much attention in my other classes, I did just enough to get by.

But as soon as I realised that people actually made art for a living, that became my immediate goal. Around the same time I got into music and playing in bands and then I inevitably started to make small commissions by doing artwork for posters/cds/t-shirts etc.

2) Which artists do you use as reference?

I try not to use any artists as reference exactly, but I do follow a lot of different illustrators, I think the only thing they all have in common is a unique style thats instantly recognisable as their own, something I would say I'm still working on, but it only comes with the more work you produce.

Illustrators I admire for their unique style are Patrick Leger, Evan Hecox, Hannah Stouffer, Josh Cochran, Teagan White, David Foldvari and a theres a few more I've bookmarked too.

3) Your style is quite influenced by realism. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?

Definitely, I tend to use a lot of photographic reference in my images, but I like to skew the imagery sometimes to create what is a very unlikely or impossible scenario, I think doing this when the figures look so real creates quite a striking image.

I've been working in the same way for years, just constantly developing and tweaking it to create a stronger final image.

4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.

I start off with lots of sketching on layout paper and overlapping different sketches to get a final composition, when I'm happy with the composition I re-sketch all the components on to one final piece of paper, I then clip the finished pencil underneath a piece of bristol board and start inking, I'll use a few different water colour brushes and black ink.

When I'm happy with the final inked work I'll scan this in and start colouring with a tablet in photoshop.

I'll then use homemade textures to finish it off.

5)What's would you consider the best moment on you career till now and what would be the worst one? Please share with us more about your path.

Although I've been doing this kind of work on and off for the past 5 years or so, its only really in the last few months things have really taken off.

I left my full time job managing cafes last year to concentrate on doing this work and I only got my website up at the end of March. So the highlight so far is the positive response I've had from my website.

The worst moment for me was when I used to work in the cafe and I had to constantly turn down artwork jobs as my day job was taking too much of my time, hence why I decided to concentrate on this kind of work instead and it is so much more rewarding.

6) How do you describe your daily routine?

My daily routine varies depending on if I have any commissions on or not as I'll spend a lot of time on commissions and the routine goes out the window.

If I haven't got any active commissions the day usually starts with searching through my favourite sites, I go out for a walk and get something to eat before I start working on something new.

I'm not the best at trying to promote myself but I'm getting better, and I'm making weekly blog updates mandatory.

7) What's your favorite media to work with and why?

I love the crisp yet expressive lines of ink and brush, something I'm trying to do more of and scaling the palette back.

I've also been experimenting with trying to paint separate layers and scan everything in separately to get more natural textures. I much prefer being hands on and doing things on a surface as apposed to digital, this is something I want to explore more in the future.

8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator.

1. Keep going. You only get better the more you do, its not going to be a matter of weeks or months it will take years to be the best you can be. I'm still learning and I'm still pushing myself to make each piece better than the last.

2. Be your own worst critic. Judge each piece of work as critically as you can. Could it be better? Could the colours work better? Could it be bolder or more memorable? These are all questions I ask myself. I've completely redrawn whole images that took almost a day in a slightly different composition because I wasn't happy with it.

3.Don't quit your day job. Well don't quit your day job until you're ready. Part time jobs are incredibly useful to subsidise your income when you're starting out.

Unfortunately you're not going to get millions of commissions as soon as you put your website up, theres going to be a lot of emailing people for quite a few months, even when you do get commissions they might not see the light of day for a couple of months.

4. Don't use every trick you have. Don't throw everything you have at an image just because you can, this will probably make the image look far too busy and very forgettable. Instead pick the process that you know will work well for the composition and keep it simple.

5. Try to change things up. Obviously don't completely change styles between each piece, but try changing the way you do things, keep a few things regular, that could be described as your style but experiment, otherwise this job could be the same as any other job, and thats not good.

9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit.

It's Nice That - This is great and its been on my bookmarks bar for quite a few years now, they consistently put out great content on a beautifully simple website.

Boooooooom! - Jeff Hamada has been doing this for years too. More great content seen by millions.

FFFOUND! - fantastic images updated daily and you can end up clicking through these for hours.

Supersonic Electronic - More really good stuff, usually more illustration based too.

Beautiful/Decay - Some more great work, usually more fine art based, but this site has really improved over the years and tends to show work that the other sites don't.

10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.

Take your time. Don't rush an image or your day for that matter. You'll be far happier with everything you do if you take your time.

Written by

Marcos Torres

I'm Marcos Torres, I'm a Graphic Artist from Brasil. You can know more about me at my Website, at my Tumblr or at my Flickr.