Featured Artist: Josh Riley, Graphic Designer & Branding Consultant

Artwork Bazaar is a community-first platform for graphic artists, so we want to showcase the talent behind the stunning graphics available in our media library.

Kicking us off with our very first artist feature is Josh Riley. Josh is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and branding consultant, who draws from his talents in typography, patterns, colour, 3D design and his knowledge of printing techniques and photography to deliver branding and packaging concepts. Here we speak to him about his journey as an artist to date to get some insights and tips for designers who want to develop a graphic design career.

What were your academic beginnings as an artist?

I studied at Saint Martins School of Art and have a degree in graphic design. It was a long time ago – there was one rudimentary computer that was locked in an office and never used and we had a weekly life drawing class!

What was your first official ‘job’ as a graphic designer?

My journey as a professional started in the music industry as a Junior Designer in the Island Records Art Department. There I was able to hone my skills in typography, layout and illustration. Creating impactful graphic ideas and images but also working to very tight deadlines – the pressure was on!

That sounds exciting, any specific work we may have seen?

My claim to fame is that I designed the RUN DMC logo, which you see everywhere today.

It was never intended as their definitive logo and actually started out as part of a design for a promotional T-shirt but then took on a life of its own.

How did this experience impact your career today?

My work at Island Records led me to do some initial TV and film work, but my main focus was on branding and packaging, which has been my specialist field ever since.

How did you transition into creating graphics for TV and film?

It wasn’t a huge jump from the work I was doing at Island Records to TV and film, but it hasn’t been an area I’ve worked in exclusively.

I’ve found having a background in branding and packaging to be very helpful when working for TV and film. Being a good all-rounder means I am able to cope with a wide range of demands that the industry throws at me.

What are your main passions or nuances as an artist?

The interplay between colour, typography and illustration is what interests me most. I’m happiest combining all three to create something memorable and eye-catching.

I get a lot of inspiration from vintage prints, book jackets and posters – I love the restrained colour pallets and the way illustration and type were used to make a cohesive image.

What is the one piece of advice you wish you had early on in your career?

Have a game plan and work for yourself.

What key tools and resources have you found helpful as an artist?

I know it’s old-fashioned, but I have always preferred thinking on paper. It often allows me to approach a graphic problem from a different angle.

Also having worked closely with printers on various projects and getting my hands inky from time to time.

Artwork by Josh Riley - Rights Reserved

What is your proudest moment as an artist so far?

Surviving as a freelance designer!

What are you ambitions for the next few years?

I am planning to focus more on personal illustration and image-making projects, as well as keeping up my role as a branding consultant.

What advice would you give to any budding artists?

Know your own head but be prepared to be flexible.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks to the team at Artwork Bazaar for this great platform!

Browse Josh’s gallery or get in touch

Artwork Bazaar is currently in beta launch, but if you have early access to our platform you can view Josh’s available graphics in our library here.

Alternatively, if you want to commission Josh or browse his gallery to buy his graphics please get in touch and we can set you up with access or introduce you.

NOTE: All artwork showcased in this profile interview is subject to copyright and is not free to use and share. 

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