Today I am welcoming Joe Rogers to the Kiosk, a dynamic illustrator and soundscape artist known as Colourbox. Joe's work has, amongst others, been showcased by Poketo, Wrap magazine and Computer Arts. Difficult to categorise, Joe's work is diverse and experimental. This is precisely why it is so exciting.
EC Firstly, for those who may not know your work, how would you describe what you do?
JR I would tell them that I'm an illustrator, they would reply with
something like 'Children's books or...?', I would mumble on for 5 mins
about the type of things I do, they would look at me blankly, and I
would end the conversation by saying; 'if you want to see more check out
EC Words and music seem as important in your work as visuals. What set you off on that path?
many of my ideas come to me as words or sentences, my sketch book is
less a series of sketches more a load of mad ramblings that occasionally
get turned into artworks. Sometimes the words remain in the image but I
try and remove the words if possible, so as not to make my images too
obvious, I like to keep a bit of ambiguity to my work if I can. Music is
not just important to my visual work but to my life, I like to produce
music mixes as a hobby (http://www.mixcloud.com/colourbox/)
and also ran a mixtape swap project for a few years, which has now
unfortunately come to an end. During the masters course I managed to
incorporate my love of music and sound into my work, which I have always
wanted to do, but had never before had the excuse. I hope in the future
I can get back to exploring soundscapes and audio visual experiments in
EC Tell me a bit about your work process. Do you have a clear goal in mind for projects or do they evolve spontaneously?
depends, with my personal projects if I get an idea I just do it, or
mark it down for possible future development. Some ideas are spontaneous
and come from experimentation, or can arrive to me practically fully
formed out of the blue. Client projects are generally a bit more process
driven, I look for inspiration based on the brief and then work towards
EC Personal project or client brief?
JR Personal project.
Sometimes I really I feel that I am a frustrated fine artist, I think I
do much prefer the freedom of doing my own work and exploring my own
ideas and concepts. Saying that, working with clients allows me to do
work and participate in projects that I would otherwise be unable to do
myself, and I also enjoy collaborating with other creative people on
creative projects. Collaborating with clients provides me with the
opportunities to work on some really interesting projects. Besides, most
of my client work has seemed to come about through them initially
seeing some personal work that I have created, liked it and wanted to
use it in another context, or liked enough to want to work on something
new with me.
EC Is there a particular era or style that inspires you?
don't think there is any era or style that particularly inspires me. To
me it's like my taste in music, when people ask me what type of music I like, I
really don't know what to say. For me I judge music by how each
individual tune effects me, not by its genre. The same is true for me
with artwork that inspires me, if I like it I like it, if I don't I
dont, I don't want to be bound by styles or eras, I want to be more open
minded than that. If you are categorizing things you have already
seen/heard then you are already categorizing the things you haven't
seen/heard before you have seen/heard them. Does that make any sense?
EC What would you most like to see your work on?
ceramics, vases, furnishings, textiles, album sleeves, loads of stuff I
guess... I would also love to get a book of my work published.
EC Tell me one thing about you that no one would guess from looking at your work.
JR I'm hoping no one would guess by looking at my work but I am
actually colour blind, I'm not sure if people could guess that by
looking at my work or not, I'm also not sure if I particularly care.
EC The Kiosk likes to enjoy the simple things. What is your favourite word, colour, shape, artist and food?
JR Word: Controversially I think my favourite word is actually c*nt.
Not because I particularly like using it, but because I think it is one
of the most powerful words in the English language, it has the power to
cause anger, disgust, humour, basically all manner of feelings, just by
changing the tone and context in which it is used. It is such a powerful
word I felt the need to place a * in the place of the u in this answer,
to try and avoid offense, something that I don't think I would have to
do with any other word.
Colour: When I was younger I used to say my favourite colour was
yellow, I don't think it is anymore, due to my colour blindness I think I
gravitate more to the primary colours, I can tell you that my least
favourite colour is purple because it is the colour I have the most
Shape: At various times I have alternated between obsessions with
both the circle and the triangle, at the moment I'm more into the
Artist: I admire the work of many artists, it would be unfair to single out just one.
Food: Anything with a tomato based sauce to it I would say.
EC The Kiosk loves a to do list. What is next on your agenda?
the immediate future I have a number of group exhibitions coming up so I
really need to get cracking on those. Also I really need to find a job
because I am skint.
EC Any other information we should know?
JR No, that's everything.
Well it's not quite everything. If you are intrigued by Joe's work check out more at his website and blog.
You can connect with Joe on twitter here and I highly recommend checking out his music mixes and shop
Please note that all images are copyright © Joe Rogers 2012