Interview: Joshua Heaps

Joshua is a recent graduate and graphic designer. He has recently set up a shop for this design work, selling postcards. I was lucky enough to have an interview with him about his career plans and his new shop.

Hello Joshua! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

I'm brill thank you! Just on a busy smelly train home from London.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I'm from Kent, 21 and I have just graduated from the University of Lincoln. Now back at home, I'm loving being back in the countryside with my friends and family. There are so many things I love, but to sum up a few things; I love tea, buying too many clothes, travelling, my friends, the sound of rain, baths, my poodle, millionaire shortbread, the office and country walks.

I adore your work. What inspired you to get into graphic design and illustration?

Aw thank you so much!

Hamish was born out of a love of cows and the countryside which I grew up in. I love the simplicity of design and a style and sophistication comes from that. I wanted the focus to be just on Hamish and his feelings for that design. Beginning as a few sketches for my third year work, I took a risk and created a cow that looks quite grumpy. I had never done bright and minimal illustrations but i really wanted to try. The rest is history. I have created Hamish in loads of situations and products to make him a fun and vibrant brand.

Have you always been into design?

I don't see myself as the most talented illustrator in the world. I just try my best!

When I was younger I initially wanted to go into film for years. Until I went to university and completed my first design module I realised how much I enjoyed creating something in front of me that can be seen as something stylish and pleasing to the eye. The routes in design seem endless, with colours, space, image and type allowing me to create infinite possibilities. I saw how design could be applied to not just some poster, but to everything we breathe in. Everything around us has been designed to please our eye, and to me, that is some brilliant power. I wanted to be involved that skill where we can create design and allow it to be applied to so many things other than just the a4 work on my screen.

How has your creative process changed since the start?

I have always been very decisive about what I like and don't like ever since I was a stubborn little kid. With design, I have been inspired to create what I think looks good but then take a few minutes and look again. I can be stubborn and often need a second opinion or another look st my work to make sure it's the best it can bd. Illustration is new field for me but I find simple designis better design. I don't want to complicate things in design, I just wanted to give a cow and that's it.

What equipment do you use for your work?

Photoshop and InDesign I could not do without. Lots of work is Hand drawn with a mouse or a track pad.

What tools or materials could you not live without?

I couldn't live without a good strong tea to get me through working. Maybe a nice wine after to reward my self. Adobe in design and photoshop are my key tools. I have been encouraged to use Illustrator but it scares me.

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

Hamish is still pretty new but Facebook and Instagram are my key ones. I have lots of good friends and family who help spread my etsy link fir postcards and the rebubble link for fashion and accessories.

Who inspires your work?

I adore everything on Ohh Deer and Paperchase. I never buy anything usually but I always have a look. My friends were very inspiring in the way they had faith in Hamish and encouraging me with ideas, new puns, and even buying cards when I sold them at uni.

I used to send postcards to my two best friends from home while we were away at university. I loved the designs we would choose, they could be from shops, our local cities, or other countries!   I used to look at the cards and think how I'd love to do my own one day. So I did!

Do you have any favourite pieces of design work or textiles that you adore at the moment?

I love Gemma Corell. She has such a sense of humour in her work. Her illustrations are so simple and fun it made me feel I don't have to Da Vinci to be an okay artist. I love how her work has been applied to become a brand which we see on so many things.

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

I just want to make my followers adore Hamish like I do. I want to increase my following. However I have just completed some Xmas cards which will be ready soon. I'm very excited.

What are your career plans?

I am wanting to go into graphic design but still want to keep my options. I love video editing and feel there's a good design in that too. Making shots look visually stimulating is a real skill that I aspire to do. I ran a radio show for three years at uni so I always keep an eye out. I have however completed a 5 week internship at Southpaw, tunbridge wells, and I am now on an internship in Covent Garden. I have been doing real client briefs which is great.

You have recently set up a new shop. What is the reason behind this?

I just wanted to get my designs out there to share with people. My designs are something everyone can share and enjoy a few cheeky puns. It's nice to see if they have potential to do well.

What will you be selling in your shop?

Right now it's postcards which are cheap and cheerful. I want to expand and do cards.

Do you have any exciting plans for your new shop?

One day I'd love to create wash bags, scarves and notebooks. Maybe after some time that could be a thing. I've done mock ups but would love to see something real one day.

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to get into illustrations and graphic design?

Just do something fun, creative and not complicated. Less is more. A bit of humour always goes down well.

Do you have any advice for designers?

Don't let your work be judged too much. It's good to have creative construction but sometimes it's good to be stubborn and go "no, what I've done is pretty good and I should be proud". Design is something that sometimes can't be judged because everyone has different opinions.

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Keep your options open, try lots and have a wide and creative portfolio. Your portfolio is your most important tool to showing off.

If you would like more updates, please take a look at his Etsy page https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HighlandCowHamish/edit?ref=hdr_shop_menu’ and Facebook page ‘www.facebook.com/highlandcowh/’. 

Rhiannon BrittenComment