Monsters Ink: Announcing our May sketchXchange with Jolby

The 2013 sketchXchange roster has been packed with incredibly talented artists—and it’s only April. Well, we’re not letting up for a second! WeMake is happy to announce our May sketchXchange will be an evening with Jolby to discuss the process and creation of their newest children’s book, Monsters Under Bridges: Pacific NW Edition

Join us at the headquarters of our community partner, Sockeye, for an evening of sketching and inspiration from Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols.

DATE OF THE EVENT: Friday, May 3, 2013

TIME: 6:00-9:00pm

PLACE:  Sockeye, 240 N Broadway, Suite 301 (The Left Bank Building)

Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45

COST: FREE, however a $5 donation is appreciated

REGISTRATION BEGINS:Friday April 26th at 9am

RSVP on Eventbrite

A lot can happen in a year! It’s hard to believe, but Jolby was our very first sketchXchange event way back in February 2012. Since then, the guys have been crazy busy and we want to hear what they’ve been up to. 

Jolby is a collaborative design and illustration studio based in Portland, Oregon. Founded by Josh Kenyon & Colby Nichols, the studio has definitely made its mark here in PDX and across the country. Their client list includes top brands like Disney, Intel, and Google as well as local favorites like Hopworks, Urban Airship, and XOXO.

We’re psyched to have you guys back for another sketchXchange. What have you been up to since the last time we saw you? What project was your favorite from the past year?

J: It’s crazy that it’s been a year! I feel like we’ve evolved a lot since then. When we spoke at the first sketchXchange we were doing a lot of illustration projects, but this last year we have been focusing our studio on taking more design work. We are doing a lot of branding work with a good mix of illustration projects as well. My favorite project was the branding we did for Brunch Box’s new restaurant (which opens in April).

You’re getting ready to release your next children’s book, “Monsters Under Bridges: Pacific NW Edition.” What can you tell us about it? Did you learn a lot about the publishing process after "The King’s 6th Finger" that was helpful for the new book?

C: Yes, our new book comes out on May 7th and we’re really excited for it to be out! The book is about the monsters that live under our bridges in the PNW and their unique habits and attributes. We got to work with our friend Rachel Roellke Coddington who wrote “The King’s Sixth Finger” and the book is being published by Sasquatch Press. I think the biggest thing we learned from our first book was how hard it is to sell and market a book on your own. 

J: That was the big reason for why we wanted to try working with a publisher on a title of our own. It was also great to have editors and people who really understand the children’s book market. It helped us shape the book better than we could have on our own.

A running theme through your recent presentations and workshops has been about collaboration. How do you collaborate when you’re sketching and developing initial ideas? Do you share everything you’re working on from the very beginning or do you take time to work on ideas individually before showing each other?

C: Collaboration is probably most evident in our sketching and conceptual phase. We really lean on each other to push the ideas and question what we are creating. There are times when I’ll sit on a sketch or an idea before sharing it with Josh, you know, until it’s just right. But, most of the time we share things immediately.

J: Every project we do, we start together. Even if it’s just talking about the project and then going off on our own to sketch, the communication is key for our process. We spend about 10 hours everyday together talking and working together. Then, we will go home and call each other to talk and show our ideas, too. We are always thinking about ideas and projects so collaboration and communication in our studio goes beyond what most people think of those processes. 

What do you do when you hit a creative block? Any tips or tricks for getting over that hump and back to work?

C: We talk, show each other what we are stuck on and see if the other can help us out of it. The two of us do this and our designer, Lea Loo as well. The three of us can stop what we are doing and just talk, sketch or help push the person that’s stuck. 

J: I would say that method works 90% of the time. Other times we do things like break boards, go get coffee, blast metal or just stop and joke for a bit (breaking boards is real life).

Are there any artists/designers/rad people who inspire you right now?  

C: Right now, I’m super stoked on this dude, Bee Teeth. I really like what he’s doing and his aesthetic. I also most recently finished a video game called Ni No Kuni by Studio Ghibli (a famous animation studio in Japan). The character and world design for the game were so good are really inspiring.

J:Geoff McFetridge is my ongoing inspiration. He recently spoke at The Walker Art Center and that talk has gotten me super pumped as of late. Also the chefs at Boxer Sushi. Might seem weird but the stuff that they are doing with sushi has really made me think about our work and how to push it. 

What advice would you give a new designer just starting out in the industry? Is there something you wish you’d known when you started?

J: Work really, really hard. This industry is amazing, but hard. You get out what you put in. Be confident but also willing to never stop learning. I wish we both would have taken some business classes, though. That side has been the hardest for us. I’m really glad that it has been the two of us being able to split the duties and learn together what it takes to run a business.   

C: I would say the first thing to do is to stop thinking of work as “work” and your life as a designer/creator will become 1,000 times easier. We’re all really fortunate to be doing what we do everyday and teaching yourself early on to stay humble and work hard will support you until the end of time.

Thanks, guys! We’re excited to have you back for another round of sketchXchange and to hear all about the new book. 

As always, space is limited for this event so make sure to grab a spot when registration opens on Monday, April 29th at 9am

DATE OF THE EVENT: Friday, May 3, 2013

TIME: 6:00-9:00pm

PLACE:  Sockeye, 240 N Broadway, Suite 301 (The Left Bank Building)

Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45

COST: FREE, however a $5 donation is appreciated

REGISTRATION BEGINS: Friday April 26th at 9am

RSVP on Eventbrite