Friday, January 16, 2009

Josh Cochran Interview

Very generously, the ubiquitous Josh Cochran was kind enough to answer a few questions for me for Lost At E Minor recently. I thought everyone would most definitely enjoy this interview so I've posted it in it's entirety here. Enjoy!

IK: What is your artistic background?

JC: I studied fine art and animation at the University of Southern California for three years then I went to the Art Center in Pasadena for four more years to complete my degree.

IK: How long have you been working as an illustrator? How have you seen your career progress? Anything you'd consider a milestone?

JC: I’ve been working as an illustrator for four years this June. I think my career has been progressing ever since I got that first job for the New York Times Book Review. Sometimes things will progress in tiny increments and other times its much more dramatic. As far as milestones go...probably the Communication Arts cover and feature interview was one. That article gave me a certain amount of exposure that I’ve never really had before.

IK: How would you say you found your 'style?' How would you say it's evolved since you began?

JC: My style really came from a general frustration I had towards painting, while I was in school. I started drawing really early on and have always felt fairly comfortable towards it. Teachers at Art Center would constantly encourage me to make my work look more like my sketchbooks, which got me thinking of ways to produce finished looking artwork, using a more linear style. I took a printmaking class fairly late in my education, which really changed everything for me. Silkscreen and flat color provided a much needed contrast to my obsessive line work. I wasn’t confused by having an infinite amount of colors, and had to make the best out of 3 or 4 colors. I started looking at older printing techniques found in turn of the century children’s books and cheap reproduction materials like propaganda leaflets and posters. My family has been a big influence as well. My Grandmother is an accomplished Chinese watercolorist and calligrapher and my Mom’s been working in graphic design since the early nineties. I have to also put this wife Jenny has a crazy critical eye, with way better taste and is a major influence on what I put into my portfolio.

IK: As an illustrator, how do you keep the process new & exciting, from becoming stale?

JC: I try hard to keep pushing new ideas in my work. Of course there are often times I feel tired and stale and produce work that isn’t that challenging. Generally though, I try to keep building on things I’ve accomplished in my work. To me that’s what keeps my work consistent as well as it gives me room to grow. After a while a certain direction will feel boring to me and I’ll start pushing out to try something different. I have a certain amount of ADD, which might translate itself in my work.

IK: What do you enjoy most about your work?

JC: I really enjoy the fact that my process is so simple. Nothing’s faster than putting a pencil to paper.

IK: You recently relocated from the west coast to NYC, would you say that's affected your work in any way, for better or worse?

JC: I think the big move has helped my work a lot. I share a studio in an old pencil factory here in Brooklyn with a lot of other great illustrators. I think just being around such talent has made me realize the level of awesomeness I need to strive for and to maintain.

IK: Any advice for young illustrators just getting started in the field?

JC: Live, eat, breath, art. Invest in a proper computer monitor, a good pair of Jack Purcell’s and a small Boston Terrier.

IK: Any exciting new or upcoming projects you'd like to share?

JC: I’m working on a cover for Criterion Collection, a painting for the Ace Hotel and a secret project with Kim Bost. Hopefully these will be unveiled soon in the coming months.


jashar said...

great interview!

can't wait to see those upcoming projects, josh!

Emily L. Eibel said...

Thanks for putting that up- that's awesome.