Interview with Joe Rogers a.k.a Colourbox

Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with artist and illustrator Joe Rogers a.k.a Colourbox for a quick chat about his fab creative creations and what future projects are on the horizon…

Cat On The Wall: Your website is quite something! How did you come up with the concept? Did you create it yourself?

Joe Rogers: Thanks but I can’t really take full responsibility for the design of the site, although all the artwork on there is by my hand. A few years ago I decided I needed a portfolio site, I went to a local design company in Brum called ‘Tak’ (sadly now closed), they were a lovely bunch of creative people. I laid down some parameters for them but wanted to give them the freedom to create something different but usable. They came back with a few designs and together we thrashed out the solution you see now. I think it is due for a few tweaks and I have recently split my work into two sites, one for the more experimental stuff which is newly housed at and one for my more client based work which continues to be housed at Hopefully soon I can fully integrate the two!

COTW: When did you first discover that you wanted to become an illustrator? Have you always been interested in illustration or is it something that developed over time?

JR: I don’t know really. I suppose I was always doodling around when I was a kid but I don’t think it was any more than any other child would do. I think it was only really when I was at high school that I found I wasn’t totally terrible at what I was creating, I don’t think I was any great shakes either, but I think I got encouragement and I found it more enjoyable than the other lessons! When it came to choosing what to do after school it was the only way I wanted to go really. I guess I have worked quite hard to develop myself, I have never really thought I have had much talent, just a bit of determination to improve. When I look back I guess I have improved over time but it is an on-going thing, I’m still nowhere the artist I want to be but may be all artists think like that.

COTW: Do you have a preferred medium? Is there a medium that you’d still like to try?

JR: I don’t really have a preferred medium, I like to let the idea lead the way and the process seems to come after. I do try an avoid certain materials that I have never really got to grips with, oil paint is an example, hopefully one day I’ll find a way of using oils that doesn’t look totally crap! I like to experiment with the mediums I use, recently I have been making a lot of paper-cuts, I suppose if I look back on the work I have done in the last few years a lot of it has involved collage in some way.

COTW: What inspires you when creating artwork? Do you have a particular subject that you prefer drawing above any others?

JR: What inspires me? What inspires anyone! Things I see, music, anything. Most of the time in truth I don’t really know where the ideas I get come from, they just seem to pop out of my head from nowhere. I’m sure all the things I look listen to and experience get stirred up in that factory upstairs and just get spurted out somehow. It is crazy, I have never really got to grips with where what am creating comes from! I don’t really have any preferred subjects, there are areas I don’t really touch, generally things that are out of my sphere of experience I suppose.

COTW: You’ve worked on quite a few really interesting projects. Do you have a favourite? Are there any upcoming projects that we should know about?

JR: I have worked on a couple of good things in the past, but I would like to do loads more!! I recently had a few of my designs picked up by Poketo (an American based company producing of limited edition art products, accessories, apparel etc) for a back to school range to be sold in Target stores in America nationwide. This was a really cool project and it came totally out of the blue, to see your designs being sold in stores all across America quite cool!

Also a few months back I started up a mixtape sharing project called inventively enough ‘The Mixtape Project’. The group was set up for like-minded mixtape enthusiasts to make and design their own mixtapes and swap them monthly with other members of the group. It’s a bit of fun for people who are interested in the old-skool mixtape making idea, it is fun to do and members have come up with some really cool results, which can be seen here:

COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?

JR: I’m not sure what is on the horizon for me, in the near future I have just gone back to school to do a Masters at Chelsea college, we will just have to see what the future holds!!

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