Illustrator Joe Cruz brings new meaning to mixed media compositions. He uses bold lines, strong colours and graphical imagery within his work and is fascinated the statements in political posters and advertising slogans. Simple and subversive messages play a key role in his contemporary work...
Joe, what’s your story? How did you get to where you are today? I was born in North London in 1988, my family are fairly mixed with each of my grandparents born in different countries. So I have been lucky enough to experience different foods and cultures, which I really now appreciate now. I was always most happy when I was drawing as a child and then this gradually developed through my school years. It was not until I went to University and really had a chance to experiment and explore my practice that I started to think seriously about how I was going to make a career from my artwork. Since graduating in 2010 I have been working as a freelance artist, working on commercial projects as well as selling my works.
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? I always drew cartoons as a child, so probably to be a comic book artist or animator. As well my love for drawing and art, I am very sporty person and being professional sportsmen was always a dream.
Which uni did you go to and what did you study? Norwich School of Arts and studied Graphic Design specialising in Illustration.
What’s the proudest moment of your career to date & which project has been your career highlight? I would say a collaboration I did with Stussy, to create a collection of t-shirts. It was loads of fun as they gave me free range with a lot of their 1980s advertising imagery and I was really happy with the final artworks.
How did you come to collaborate with Art Wednesday? They approached me with a with the idea and I worked closely with their in-house photographer as well as the make up artist’s to create a series of editorial based fashion artworks.
Do you love or loathe social media? For me it been really useful to promote my work but I do not use it much on a personal level.
Which tools do you use to create stuff and what is your creative process? My pastels mainly, also paints, printmaking and photoshop.
Where do you find inspiration? Art books I avidly go hunting for books and explore new artists, movements to keep pushing my work in new directions.
What do you think the next big illustration trend will be and why? I don't know really, I've never thought about trends in illustration, if the work is good enough, style and trends should not matter.
What do you love about what you do? I love that moment when you can sit back and say, 'I have created that and it's my own...'
What’s your favourite music to work to? I like lots of talk radio and sport. Music would be hip-hop, soul and a bit of reggae.
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? Peanut Butter. If I am eating not toast, a fruit and a cup of tea.
What are you working on at the moment? I am working on a set of silkscreen prints, which I am going to be printing and exhibiting with Print Club London later on this year which will be awesome.
Discover more at jcruz.co.uk