Our first sketchXchange with Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols of Jolby was awesome! About 30 people gathered last Friday night to be inspired, sketch in a few books and mingle with other illustrators and designers from the community.
The night started with drinks and food at The Sting Ray Cafe on the first floor of The Left Bank Project. It was leisurely moved up stairs to the modern industrial setting of Sockeye where Josh & Colby’s illustrations and sketches adorned several walls from top to bottom.
A captivated audience sat comfortably around a table that was piled with a mountain of Jolby’s sketchbooks, and it didn’t take long for guest to reach for the bounty! You could tell by the smiling faces that what they discovered was worth being one of the few and lucky participants who helped launch the first night of sketchXchange. Some of them even grabbed their own pens and began sketching into the pages. I’m sure the guys will be pleasantly surprised the next time they open their books!
The characters of Josh and Colby not only shine through the work they create together, but also when they talk about the process of creating. It’s collaborative from the onset and they are quick to move on if something doesn’t work. Colby usually draws the larger shapes, objects and characters, while Josh will later come in to create the patterns and textures. From then they both work together to finish a piece.
One of the highlights for me was their discussion on creating their first children’s book, “ The King’s 6th Finger”. The book was launched during a Kickstarter campaign and has since been published in hard back. It is a lovely collection of illustration and whimsy. During sketchXchange, the original sketches covered an entire wall, and participants had an opportunity to see the process unfolding in the various sketchbooks throughout the room.
The guys also talked about the balance of graphic design and being illustrators and how they are true to both. Just recently they had a show in San Diego at the Subtext Gallery titled Shapes and Smiles, an exploration in storytelling through drawings, paintings, wood-cut shapes, screen prints, plush, home goods and more. It was so great to see many of the ideas unfolding in the sketches they brought.
Thanks again Jolby for making WeMake’s first sketchXchange a night to remember!
PS: Their next show, Triforce Tribute (celebrating Zelda!) is a collaboration with Always With Honor and takes place at the Land Gallery March 9th-April 21st.
Photo’s courtesy of Jeff Freeman Photography, more coming soon!