In the world of mixed media, colors and shapes look good enough to eat. Manchester based Graphic Designer and Digital Artist, Joshua Drakes (JD) breaks the art medium mold with his digital art creations. For Joshua, there is no limit to imagination. His digital portfolio includes layers of texture, intricate patterns and ostensible repetition. His attraction to unique visual imagery, makes for the perfect ingredient in creating thought provoking artwork. Peer inside Joshua’s alternate universe, where faces are replaced with galaxies and marble statues live on the moon.
If you could describe your work in one word, what would it be?
JD – If I could describe my work, it would be colorful.
At what age did you discover your love for art? And more specifically digital art?
JD – From a young age I’ve always been a fan of art and the different types of art too. For Digital Art, the love for that started around 11.
You currently reside in Manchester, UK. Would you say that your art influence is more local or global?
JD – I’d say it’s more global than local as I seen lots of art from around the world on social media to the various books I read.
Your art presents itself in layers. What goes into your creation process?
JD – Usually I would load up Photoshop and just bring images that wouldn’t normally go together and create something from that. Or if I have an idea I want to bring to life, I’d spend some time searching for the images on Google.
Do you ever encounter creative dry spells? If so. How do you find fresh inspiration?
JD – Oh of course! When I come across these spells, for me it means I’ve overworked myself so I take time and rest. Let the inspiration come back to me.
Hip Hop references appear often in your art. How does music play a role in your work?
JD – Music is a big inspiration in my work as someone who has grown up with a lot of music playing, I like to create artwork of my favorite artists to even the point that I hope they see it. Speaking of Hip Hop, collaborations between artists are constant.
What are some collaborations that you’ve done that are notable to you?
JD – Well I haven’t collaborated with any notable artists just yet but I have had my work seen and admired by various big artists. One of my favorites was Pusha T or even Naomi Campbell.
Mixed media art can be so broad. How do you push the boundaries in a medium that is new?
JD – I think for me, I’m not afraid to get weird with it. Whether that be transforming images in a weird way or using patterns and textures others won’t.
How have audiences received your work?
JD – Very well! Every day new people come across my work and always show love to it. They keep me going at the end of the day.
Your work is heavily based in mixed media. With that as your creative base, how would you define ‘Art’?
JD – Art has no definition if I’m being honest. Art is a loose term, it could mean many things but it always depends on the person.
Aside from creating digital art, you also dabble into photography. What is your photographic vision?
JD – Right now, I’m finding said vision for my photography but I do want to mix my digital art and photography worlds together.
If you could fill a museum with art of your choice, what would it consist of?
JD – It would be my Tender Violence series mixed with my Pin Up Emoji series.
What do you think the state of art is in 2016?
JD – I think it’s very good! It’s thriving and the amount of new artists popping up is great. We need that.
What advice would you give to the ‘starving artists’ of your generation?
JD – To never give up and even if not many people see your work, your art is still getting seen. Also to believe in what you’re making and keep creating always.
Do you have any new projects coming up in the near future?
JD – Things are moving but nothing to speak of at the moment.