By Jordan Gerdes
A quick preface. I had the pleasure of first meeting Joshua in Philadelphia a few summers back during This Is Hardcore. He was running a contest where he had packed a few prints of his art with him, and would post up somewhere at the festival, and the first person to find him got to pick one of the pieces. I had been following him for sometime on Twitter, as we lived in the same area here in the Northwest. I ran from the balcony out to the merch tents and awkwardly approached him, asking if anyone had found him yet. He replied no, asked me my name, and gave me an awesome Xenomorph print that I still have in my office to this day. We talked about hardcore and I awkwardly left, pretty starstruck as I had admired his art style for a while. Back in the Northwest, I continued to bump into him at local shows, and we continued to become friends. Joshua is one of the most genuine, hardworking artists in the community and I am ecstatic that he is our first interview in this series highlighting people who create awesome things within horror. So without further ado, here is Joshua Green.
FoF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself.
My name is Joshua Green, and I’m an illustrator/graphic artist out of Washington state.
FoF: What do you do? And why do you like it?
Right now I design a lot of logos, t-shirts, and album covers for mainly hardcore and metal bands, or anyone else that gets in contact with me. I’ve done some poster work for individual shows and fests, pin ups for various comics and art books, and contributed art to group gallery showings.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved drawing and I’m fortunate enough to be able to do that as a means of supporting myself financially.
FoF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration is going to come first, simply because that’s how anything comes to be and honestly, it comes from everything. A walk on the beach, to a riff in a song, just about anything can spark my creativity and I’ll just run with it.
That in mind, once that idea picks up momentum I start to sketch. For awhile that was all done via pen and paper, but I’ve relied more and more on Photoshop to flesh out ideas. The nice thing about sketching digitally is that if I mess up I can erase whatever it is, or if I like an arm but it’s not working for the stance I can re position it, cut and paste things as needed, and so on. It just makes the whole process less anxiety ridden.
From there I’ll print out the drawing at whatever scale I need, which is normally 11×17, and light board it with pencil. Rather than going straight to inking, I like reworking some aspects of my original sketch on paper. Something may flow a little bit better, or I’ll think of a little detail I wanna put in, stuff like that. And if I don’t like it? I can just erase it. This stage gets pretty detail heavy just because the tighter my pencils are, the less stress I put on myself when I ink. Everything I do is to minimize stress.
At this point I’ll ink my original pencils, adding gravity to the image with varying line weight. My inking is pretty minimal, in favor of detail over shadows. Someone once told me “… leave shading to your colorist” and I took it pretty seriously.
FoF: What drew you to horror in the first place?
My Dad watched a lot of stuff around me when I was a kid that I probably shouldn’t have seen at that age ha ha. We watched Alien and Aliens a lot. Predator, Terminator, Mimic, X-Files, Evil Dead, Batman Returns, or the like. A lot of the times I watched through my fingers.
My first comic was The Spectre, a book about this vengeful spirit. Don’t know how I got it, but that lead me to things like Spawn and Hellboy. Then Todd McFarlane had his Spawn show on HBO, so my Dad would stay up with me and we’d watch it, which lead him to renting stuff like Akira or Ninja Scroll from Blockbuster.
Books like Michael Crichton’s ‘Sphere’, Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and any of HP Lovecraft’s work. Anything I could get a hold of really, or anything my Dad would throw my way.
FoF: What is your favorite work of horror?
The horror I enjoy most is usually an amalgamation of these things – lore filled, creature heavy, and as evil as possible. My favorite horror films to this day are Aliens and The Thing. Both are so rich in storytelling without exposition, creatures who’s only intent is to kill, consciously or not, and amazing design/visuals. Tetsuo: The Iron Man is the epitome of my love for body horror. I remember the first time I saw it we paid like $70 in late fees because I watched it over and over. ‘Sphere’ is my personal favorite work of horror fiction just because it blends the ordinary and extraordinary so well in my opinion. And X-Files has always been a show I’ve loved and gravitate to. The combination of the “monster-of-the-week” episodes and it’s overall extraterrestrial intervention/domination arc hits every button for me personally.
FoF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?
The thing I’m most proud of was when my art was featured in an art book celebrating The Thing, published through Printed in Blood. Eli Roth wrote the foreward and John Carpenter himself wrote the afterward, and those are some of the artists I’ve looked up to. I just geek out every time I think about it ha ha.
FoF: What role do you think your specific style of art/work plays in the community overall?
Personally, I’m just happy to be a contributing member of this community. To be recognized in a capacity where my work is commissioned and able to speak for itself is heartwarming. Any time my work is commissioned or my input is requested I’m genuinely overjoyed. Being able to show there are active horror enthusiasts who also happen to be people of color has been the cherry on top of it all. Meeting other fans of horror or fans of my work and being able to connect and break through that common misconception is a great feeling.
FoF: Is there anything you are working on that you want to highlight?
Currently I’m finishing the last story in a 60 page comic called CORPSE DANCER. It’s a sword-and-sorcery comic focused on a barbarian and his thieving compatriot, both of whom find themselves confronted with various horrific situations. It’s a love letter to Lovecraft (minus the white supremacy), Carpenter, Cronenberg, and Raimi. Hoping to hear from people who hate it as soon as it comes out.
FoF: Anything else you’d like to add?
I think it’s great what you’re doing with Features of Fright and I’m sincerely appreciative to be highlighted on such a well curated site. Excited to see what the future has in store for you!
Check out more of Joshua’s art below in the gallery!