1. What's your story? Where are you from?My name is Josie and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I’ve always been into illustration but never took it seriously until I bought an iPad during the lockdown of summer 2020 and started my Instagram account. Drawing is now part of my daily routine, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.At the moment, I’m very into a warm and cozy kind of vibe, mixing rich natural colours like browns and deep greens with bright ones like purple and orange. My work also tends to be pretty detailed, which is something I’ve tried to fight in the past (in favour of a more simplified, graphic style), but now I embrace it. I like the idea of people looking at my drawings and wanting to take a closer look or zoom in on their screens to see the small details hidden within.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Growing up, I mostly used coloured pencil, and this is still my favourite medium today. Though I now draw digitally, I like to keep things simple and recreate the look and feel of pencil on paper. I mostly stick to a few basic brushes which give that sense of texture.
4. What is your artistic process like?I try to sketch every day. The simple act of drawing whatever happens to be on my mind - whether it’s something I’m reading, something I’ve watched, or a new place I’ve visited - is usually what ends up turning into my final illustrations. Once I develop the idea for a drawing and outline a basic composition, I find references for all the different elements and then create a more polished sketch from there. After that comes the fun part - rendering it all in colour.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I find that I’m most inspired by everyday life. I like to take moments that seem ordinary and turn them into something beautiful, like sitting inside reading a book or shopping at a farmer’s market. I’m particularly inspired by objects, furniture, and architecture, so something as simple as seeing a unique coffee pot in a store or a cool looking chair on Pinterest will spark an idea for me and end up becoming a full scene.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Since I’m most inspired by things I see in real life, I’m constantly taking photos of my surroundings. They’re not aesthetically pleasing at all - just snapshots on my phone - but it allows me to look back and pull details from real life that I can recreate in my work.
7. Where did you study?Although I’ve always loved art and drawing I never felt like I was good enough to pursue it as a career, so I decided to major in art history instead (which I hilariously thought was a more practical choice). I got my BA at York University in Toronto.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?Right now I work in marketing full time and illustration is just a hobby for me, but I would love to be able to go fully or even partly freelance within the next five years.
9. What about in ten?I can’t think that far ahead! Similar to my five year vision though, if I could support myself by illustrating full time that would be amazing! At the very least I still want to be making art regularly and sharing it with the world.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?Making art makes me so happy, and I honestly just want to spread that feeling to others. If someone buys my work and gets a little bit of joy or comfort from looking at it, that makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. Career-wise, I would love to illustrate book covers or get into editorial work one day.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Like a true Italian, I don’t think there’s anything better or more comforting than a big bowl of pasta. I’m especially obsessed with gnocchi.
12. Favourite book?This is a tough one! I read so much and it’s so hard to pick a favourite but if I had to choose I think it would have to be Jane Eyre. Also special shout out goes to the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series.
13. Favourite genre of music?I’m into so many different genres but my main go-to would be best described as alternative rock/pop. When I draw I like to listen to lofi beats because they’re super calming and for some reason make me feel especially creative and imaginative.
14. What are your hobbies?I’m a huge pop culture nerd so when I’m not drawing I’m either reading or watching TV and movies. Also does coffee count as a hobby? I enjoy making and drinking espresso a lot.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I was always interested in creative professions and at one time was seriously considering becoming a museum or art gallery curator. I’m also very into interior design and set design so I could see myself doing those as well.