Josh Bayer is a prolific cartoonist, independent publisher and teacher based in New York City. I took Josh's Comics and Cartooning class in Brooklyn last year and learned a ton about the history of comics, ranging from early newspaper strips to Marvel's Golden Age to the alternative comics being made today. He also taught us his process, storytelling, drawing and inking techniques, and encouraged us to make our own comics using a number of different methods.
One of the best things about the class was being able to see Josh's sketchbooks in person. He usually works on a bunch of projects at once, over multiple sketchbooks. The pages are as intense as the drawings themselves. Layers of corrections, obsessive hatching, watercolor, and ink carved into the paper. Josh lives and breathes comics, and his artwork reflects that dedication and craft.
I had a really difficult time choosing just a few images to share here from the mountains of work he's created over the years. For more of Josh's drawings and comics, go to his tumblr, portfolio site, and online store. His latest comic is the amazing Raw Power 2.
Sonni is an Argentine artist currently based in Brooklyn. I first met him on a family trip to Buenos Aires in 2008. He was painting a huge mural in preparation for one of his solo shows, and I immediately dug his style. We met again in NY last year, and I was able to catch up with everything he's been working on.
This guy is a machine of creativity. Paintings, installation, sculpture, comics, design, illustration, huge outdoor pieces, animation, he does everything. Yet the content for all of these different mediums begins with his drawings. Sonni's iconic characters live in a world from our youth, where simple shapes and primary colors form giant boomboxes, musical instruments, pencils and paint. When I look at his work, I feel the need to grab my art supplies, put on some music and start making things along with his characters.
Sonni's art is a great example of how your drawings and ideas can evolve into any medium, creating a massive and cohesive visual language. For more, check out Sonni Studios. He's also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Beau Bergeron is a doodler, designer and illustrator whose characters inhabit a place called Beautown, populated with bright colors, abstract lines and shapes. The world Beau creates is playful, friendly, inviting, and shows a real love of creation and drawing. I've known Beau for awhile, and he's a really inspiring guy to be around. He always has a constant stream of new projects and ideas in the works, while experimenting with his style and techniques to bring them to life. I'm really excited to see how Beautown continues to develop and grow.
Beau is currently based in San Francisco and works as a designer at IDEO (check out this great video he made for his job interview). You can follow his work and process at welcometobeautown on Instagram.
Boyd Shropshire is a talented graphic designer, musician and artist. He's also one of my old friends from the UF design program, my roommate when I moved to NYC, and frequent collaborator since 2005.
Our first collabs happened accidentally. While drawing on the same piece of paper, he crossed out what I had done and wrote some words on top of it. I think that unlocked something in my mind, that the drawings weren't precious. They could be fast, loose, weird and free. These pieces of paper lead to large-scale ink drawings, a two-person art show called Vernacular Shlamacular, collaborative sketchbooks, collages, songs, and creating the artwork for Kurt Vile's album "Childish Prodigy" on Matador Records.
Our two distinct styles created a third style, where you couldn't tell who did what. But the overall feel of the stuff we made was that we really didn't care what anybody thought about it. The important thing was to make the work.
Drawing is usually a very solo process. Just you, your sketchbook and pen. But I think collaborations are essential to revealing parts of your work that you didn't know existed. It's also awesome when you get to draw with your friends.
For Boyd's art and design, check out www.boydshropshire.com. He also runs a label with his girlfriend Cassandra called Wonderland Archives, where you can find his music alongside some other great artists.
DOODLERS! I'm really psyched to be July's guest contributor, and can't wait to share some cool/interesting/inspiring stuff with you over the next few weeks.
A little intro: I was born and raised in South Florida, studied graphic design at UF in Gainesville, and worked as a designer in Miami and NYC. I'm now a freelance illustrator in Brooklyn, where I share a studio in an old pencil factory with the awesome and talented Two Arms, Inc. You can check out some of my work here and here, follow my ramblings here, and my photos here.
I've always been drawn (pun alert!) to characters, and have been filling scraps of paper and sketchbooks with them all my life. My earliest drawings were of X-Men, Batman, characters from Saturday morning cartoons, Disney movies, action figures, basically anything I was surrounded by as a kid. I still pull a lot of my influences and ideas from that world, and I try to put the weird innocence of that time into my work. Everything I do really starts with drawing and keeping multiple sketchbooks going at once, and I think that's the best way to develop your style, ideas and vision as an artist.
One of the best things about working in this creative community is being surrounded by other artists who continually push you to grow and make better work. I plan on sharing some of these fellow makers with DA, and hopefully they inspire you as much as they inspire me. I'll also occasionally show some of my latest sketchbook pages, post-it notes, and whatever else I find relevant to you doodlers.
Thanks for reading, should be a fun month!