So here it is, the first profile of The Graduates 2012 and we think Joshua Checkley will get the ball rolling nicely. A straight-up illustrator with a sideline in furniture, Joshua hails from Camberwell College of Arts with a portfolio bent on engagingly simplistic, expertly coloured graphics.
Joshua was a firm favourite as soon as we saw his series of aptly detached looking images for J.G Ballard’s The Cage of Sand and the easy visual wit of Holiday Snaps that sees a pink thumb blend out one corner of the picture. These projects coupled with his almost inventory style of recording which naturally lends itself to one page narratives, rounded a pretty tight looking portfolio positively tainted by a light-hearted brightness.
As with all our grads this year, we asked Joshua answer a few set questions and to introduce himself with some choice words: "Metamorphosis, backside power slides, alter-egos, a sweet tooth and illustrating.
As nerdy as it sounds, seven in the morning is my favourite time to start work. My mum once told me that my brain works better in the morning but she also told me that sweets would end me up in hospital. Since graduating I’ve found a lot of time to work on drawings and prints but I’m focusing on a collaboration involving furniture and upholstery and a collaborative show about making do."
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
Well I wasn’t the best at academic subjects, the really important ones in school, I just wasn’t good at tests so as soon as I had the chance to just study a creative subject, I jumped at it. I had no idea you could study illustration until my foundation tutor Helen Merrin told me to apply to Camberwell. She’s an all time favourite. Being able to draw all day, make cool stuff and get a degree out of it was a no-brainer (right-brainer).
What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?
Missing a flight back home. We had our second year end of year show coming up and I hadn’t made anything so I just drew in the airport and made one of my favourite pieces of work ever. Exhibited it, got my first commission to be in a show and it has got me really started on how I want my work to look. Everything started coming up Josh, so thanks phone alarm for not going off.
If you could show you your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?
My mum because after all the years of rubbish work I’ve given her she is still my biggest fan. I’d show her something really obscure and I know even though she might not get it she’d still tell me she loves it. My mum is really good at humouring me.
Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?
There will be a lot of it. I’m going to collaborate using furniture, draw a lot and get better at what I do.
What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?
A two litre can of beer in New York.
We are delighted that once again top creative recruitment agency Represent has teamed up with us to support our search for the cream of this year’s crop. Represent Recruitment Limited help some of the worlds most talented graphic designers find new work. We work with designers at all levels, from Junior through to Executive Creative Director. Our business thrives through the networks we develop and our impeccable eye for great work. Formed in 2003 Represent operate out of offices and gallery space in London, EC1.
- Hey presto, it's Best of the Web!
- Paris-based Studio Jimbo creates "impact and power" with punchy poster designs
- Minju An's oddly sinister illustrations depict strange characters and floating bread
- Friday Mixtape: Warpaint's Glastonbury picks
- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design