1. What's your story? Where are you from?Hey, my name is Joe Baker, I’m a visual artist that lives in Melbourne, Australia. I grew up in this small mining town called Emerald, Central Queensland.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I like merging the weird sometimes creepy or surreal themes in my work with soft pastels or bright happy colours. Imagine a blow up sex doll sharing an ice cream with a puppy, thats what some of it looks like.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Drawing with fine point markers, specifically, carefully inking over a a pencil drawing on a lightbox. I also like the portability of a pen, I can draw anywhere! I love drawing in planes for instance. I almost always draw something wild when I’m in a plane, which usually starts, either a great conversation or a lot of concerned looks from the person sitting next to me.
4. What is your artistic process like?It's very loose and spur of the moment with my own work. I have a journal that jot ideas down and come back to when I’ve got a block. I play a lot of different kinds of music which helps me forge some ideas as well. I then spend a bit of time pencil sketching my base forms and details, then I ink over it with a fresh piece of paper over a lightbox, then I usually scan it in and add colours to the drawing on the computer. I get bored easily so working this way helps me finish up and get on with the next project.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I draw influence from a whole range artists such as Robert Crumb, Hanz Edelmann, René Magritte and Jim Mahfood. I love comedians and a big one for me is music. When I started out, I made posters/flyers for my friends who put on dance parties, some of them even made music so I always made these posters while listening to music. Since then, music has informed the way I draw lines, shapes and construct conceptual themes. For example, I find it easier to apply colour to rave music and I love drawing skeletons to punk or metal.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I think in regards to my mental health its benefits are amazing. Luckily, I don’t have anything seriously wrong with me, but I think when I’m feeling a little down I draw and I feel great! I’m still improving on my work everyday and that fills me with motivation that carries into other areas of my life outside of making art. It’s weird, but thats how it works for me.
7. Where did you study?I went to the Queensland Collage of Art, Gold Coast campus.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?Hopefully working on more record sleeves, running a clothing line would also be pretty cool.
9. What about in ten?Reading a book I’ve designed for my future kids and showing them how to use a crayon
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?As long as I still have time to create my own little weirdo drawings I’ll be happy with that.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Aww man, gotta be anything my Mum makes, she’s a genius.
12. Favourite book?Ghost World.
13. Favourite genre of music?I’ll listen to any genre. Although all time favourite would have to be Jungle.
14. What are your hobbies?I love hanging out with my girlfriend. Going to the beach, long walks, all the stuff someone does in a romance novel basically.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?A sapphire miner.