Meet The Artist - Joshua Clements
Name: Joshua Clements
Profession: Illustrator masquerading as a graphic designer.
Years in the biz:
JC: Born in the biz. Working professionally since 2009.
VH: Describe your illustration style.
JC: Norman Rockwell watching Saturday-morning cartoons.
VH: When did you know you wanted to do this for a living?
JC: I didn't even know design could even be a living until I was out of high school. I remember when I found out that people went to art school and had jobs drawing, designing, and animating. I was already doing a lot of painting, graffiti, and other DIY projects when I was in high school, so the idea of doing something like that professionally sort of blew my mind.
VH: We knew we wanted you to do our Val Girl for us. Can you tell us a little bit about your process and how you got the finished product?
JC: I was already familiar with the brand before we worked together, and I've been a major advocate. Valley High came to me with the concept of doing an homage to the Hook-Ups 90s skate vibe with a valley girl as the mascot, so I leaped all over it.
My immediate thoughts were a clash of Cher Horowitz and Sailor Moon. I generally like to center my characters around an actor, musician, or around the eccentric people in my life, and try to bring that personality out in the drawing itself. I came up with a few concepts, and we massaged the drawings into a sketch of a character that both Valley High and I agreed on.
From there I start in on the final vector artwork, trying to maintain a lot of the rhythm and personality that comes through on the preliminary drawings. Once the artwork is completed and all the bells and whistles are added (highlights, logos, phone details), I send the artwork over to Valley High.
The magicians over at Valley High make my artwork sing on the garment--it's genuinely a collaborative effort.
VH: What was it like collaborating with Valley High? Give us all the dirt:
JC: Refreshing, honestly. Number one issue with most of the clients that reach out to me is that they lack vision. They know they want something 'cool,' but that's usually about it.
When I sent my first sketches over, I got back a ton of notes about the pose and personality of our character. Which might seem like a lot of work, but in reality, it means that VH cares about the project, and it's worth it to put in the extra effort and attention to subtlety, and getting the graphic exactly how we want it. I loved how thorough and collaborative everything was. I'd do it again.
VH: Where do you like to gather your inspiration from? What inspires you?
JC: The beauty about inspiration is that the cliche is true, it can come from literally anywhere.
I always find that if I'm in a creative slump, I go outside a devour everything. I personally like to visit museums or go camping and try to get some ideas out in my sketchbook.
Sometimes inspiration comes when something catches my eye in a shop window, or a crude piece of art or an advertisement. You could walk into a bookstore and flip through books and something could subconsciously speak to you. Overall advice is to not force the art. Find the inspiration and purpose first, let it manifest in you mind and execute!
VH: How many hours a day/week would you say you spend drawing?
JC: I strive to do at least some sort of drawing everyday, whether with a pencil or pen. I usually spend around three hours a day actually drawing, but a lot of that transcends into the digital art that I create. I try to keep my process as traditional as possible, because the computer stiffens up a lot the artwork out of its nature.
VH: What’s your favorite “tool” right now (this could be anything from pens to programs to paper)?
JC: I'm a simple man, I don't need much more than a pencil and paper. Take it up a notch and add a Pentel or Tombow brush pen for fun.
In my design life, doing lettering, fonts, scripts, flipping logos, working with typography has been my biggest interest over the past year. After Effects and video editing is also a new venture I'm dabbling in.
VH: What is your dream collaboration and why?
JC: Other than Valley High? I've always said that I would love to collaborate with someone big like Disney or Nike. It would probably miserable and creatively congestive, but I'd let them chew me up and spit me out just for the experience.
VH: Any additional information about you, your work, your process, etc.:
JC: I just published my first book of my artwork titled You Are Here available at joshuaclements.com
Get the Val Girl Dress HERE!