Joseph Carpenter is a UK based Sharpie artist with a wide array of interests from extreme sports, to music, to art. It is his interest in self-expression and creativity, however that brings him to the Sharpie Blog as our featured artist of the day. Incorporating Sharpie markers allows Carpenter to capture thick lines, smooth lines and pay attention to detail. Mixing traditional with digital tools, this artist creates brilliant images for various U.K. bands, brands and agencies alike. Get to know Joseph and have a look at some of his work below.
Tell me about yourself: Well, my name is Joseph Carpenter and my day job is an assistant printer but I spent three years at the University of Bath studying Illustration. These days I spend most of my spare time within illustration creating new pieces or generally doodling ideas for new bits of work. I’m a massive fan of extreme sports and surround myself with people who share similar interests; this passion extends into music which is where the majority of my work has been commissioned from. I don’t really get on with over opinionated people although I’ll always make the effort – the same applies for overly aggressive people! I also dislike money because I never have enough.
How would you describe your personal style? Proper tough question…… my style is sort of all over the place, I guess its origins are in my childhood like most artists but in some respects I never really grew up, I have become more experienced in my understandings of how to use light and the difference between thicknesses in line and how much that can bring things to life. If I was going to pin point it, I suppose it’s a cross over between Graphic novel art and 80’s Cartoons. It’s never been a conscious thing just ended up that way!
Scrolling through your site, it seems you have an affinity for posters. Where does this interest come from? Who do you create them for? Poster art, haha… My “passion” (as its been previously described) for posters, has never been a passion as such I fell into it. While I was at University I started producing posters for the manager of my band at the time for the venue he was promoting for, it was something that me and my house mate spent a lot of time on together under the name ZEDISDEAD, Chris (Rowland) and myself had a really great start in the industry producing posters for band such as ACROSS FIVE APRILS, O.P.M and ZEBRAHEAD. After a while we started getting labels and bands personally interested in one off posters for shows. We then went our own separate ways and its really from then on I started getting more involved. I ended up doing posters for WHEATUS, BLEEDING THROUGH and doing album art work for WE ARE THE OCEAN and more recently T-shirts for YOU ME AT SIX.
What is your creation & design process like? This part varies from time to time. As I’ve grown up I’ve started to actually map ideas out before I ink anything and I’ll always pitch mood boards to clients, consisting of work I like and work that I hope they like! From there, the ideas go back and forth until the client is happy. I’ll ink it, do a rough colour, and then get it checked… then I go ahead and finish it off. It’s pretty basic but it works for me .
Where do Sharpie markers come into your work? Sharpie markers are an essential part of my inking process. I’ll use them to boarder the image using the marker as a thick edge and then I’ll use the finer point to fill in the detail. It’s the middle point of my work but without it the line work would look shabby and blotchy. I find that Sharpie markers draw a consistent line and don’t fade out as I follow my pencil line, this is essential in creating a smooth line which is a must my mind.
Favorite Sharpie? Why? I suppose I’m a bit basic but I love the classic Fine Point just because it delivers so much from one style of nib, and I can ink most of the sections of my work with one pen instead of a selection. I also mainly use black ink as most of my work is digitally coloured.
I also reeeaaallllyyy want a Stainless Steel Marker but I haven’t found one yet!
What’s your favorite drawing/design that you’ve ever created? My favorite (see below) is a personal piece of work that was sketched up in my first year of University. It was the start of me finding myself as an illustrator… No one else got it but it just combined everything I loved and I used all my favorite processes to create it. I even have it on my business card now!
If you could only draw one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose? This is easy, I’d draw birds! Birds are awesome, actually awesome. They all look different, they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. You can be super intricate or really simple and they still look awesome. Always loved drawing them and they drop in and out of my work, but I literally doodle birds faces all day at work.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten: “Don’t expect to get rich.” This is a daft comment out of context but it has helped me to not be disillusioned about how the industry works. All I care about is that I can be as expressive as I like and I’m consistently creative - which if I were in an office job, I would be unhappy – on more money, but not happy.
Motto to live by:
Do or do not, there is no try.
- Yoda (Star Wars movie)
Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about? Right now, I’m working on a set of animal drawings for the summer. I asked a bunch of friends to help me out with ideas and I’m putting together a set that will be gifts for everyone but also a personal project that I’ve tried to but together for ages.
Anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?Big shout out to my friends Iain Macarthur and Chris Rowland, with out them I wouldn’t be where I am now. Please check their work out too:
Ian Macarthur: http://iainmacarthur.carbonmade.com/
Chris Rowland: http://vintagemousing.livejournal.com/