PATTA LONDON X JOSH SCURVILLE
Releasing exclusively at Patta London on Thursday, December 17th: a collaborative zip hoodie with an artwork by London illustrator and designer Josh Scurville.
The graphic art that Josh created for Patta is his rendition of the famous West-London landmark Trellick Tower, as well as the people of the diverse community surrounding the tower.
Trellick Tower sits in the heart of the diverse West-London community of Portobello & Notting Hill. Designed by Erno Goldfinger and completed in 1972, it is an icon of 70s modern Brutalist architecture.
Josh, being a West-London boy, wanted to create something the depicts the area & the people. Trellick Tower is West-London.
Josh is a half French, half Anglo-Indian illustrator and designer, born and raised in West-London since 1996. He works a lot with ink and charcoal to create colourful and vibrant illustrations. Besides illustrations, screen printing and animation are also a big part of his practice, as well as the odd bit of graffiti. At this moment in time, Josh is studying an MA in printmaking at Camberwell, UAL.
Ahead of this Thursdays' release, we had a chat with Josh about his daily motivation, creative process and main influences. Read the full interview below.
Hey Josh, how did your relationship with art begin?
A bit cliché, but I’ve been drawing since a really young age. As a kid, I was mostly into drawing, sports, music and animals but art was always the main focus. Both of my parents were pretty arty, especially my dad; so I naturally gravitated towards it too. I feel that most kids go through drawing and painting as a phase but mine stuck with me and as I got older, I took it more seriously to the point where I completed a BA in illustration at Camberwell. Nothing too exciting.
Where did you grow up and how did that affect your life?
I’m born and raised West London. Used to live in South Acton then when I was about three, I moved to Brentford and been here since. Growing up in London’s cool. Obviously, London is known for its diversity when it comes to culture, food, art, music, fashion etc. So, from young I’ve been surrounded by all these different things which have had an integral part of my up bringing. What’s that bait quote again? Some shit like ‘you have three parents, your mum, your dad and society’. London would be my third parent haha, I’m definitely a product of my environment.
Who were your main influences growing up?
I would have to go with The Neptunes and DeVante Swing. I fell in love with their production styles and used to idolise them a lot growing up. As well as the rest of the Swing Mob lot too. I was obsessed with them. For me, no one is touching Devante Swing when it comes to Slow jams.
I’m heavily into RnB & Hip Hop, and everything to do with these genres from the fashion to music videos to the films have been my biggest influences. I’m not too sure how to word it, but the opening scene to ‘Belly’ has inspired me and my illustrations in some strange way. I think the colour palettes of 90s and early 2000s music videos are the reason why I love to work with colours so much. Also, Gerald Durrell and Jacques Cousteau are up there in my top influences. I used to want to be a marine biologist and those were my two main animal guys growing up.
How would you best describe your artistic style?
I don’t think I’ve got a specific artistic style, but people say that I do. I do know that through my work, I like to play around with a lot colour and vibrancy. That’s always stayed consistent throughout. I would say that my illustrations are quite playful. Before uni, I used to draw quite technically, but I never draw like that anymore.
It’s mainly bold, exaggerated black lines with loads of colour now. However my animations tend to be more literal and minimal. With those I keep them coloured lines on a black background, mainly because animations take quite a while and making them with minimal colour helps speed up the process.
Take us through your creative process.
Usually, all of my illustrations start off with quick sketches in either Indian ink or charcoal. The sketches I like the most, I’ll develop and scan them into photoshop where I’ll colour them. Then the illustrations that I really like, I’ll turn into screen prints. I enjoy the hands-on process with making art. The majority of my illustrations live digitally, so it’s nice to screen print them so they can be seen and held in the real world.
In terms of subject matter, I just draw what I’m into. It’s all pretty surface level and there is no major metaphorical meanings behind my work. A lot of my work is based around music culture and animals. I like making sketches of environments and places that I’ve been, and if I’m unable to do draw then I take a lot of photos for references. These sketches and references are then used down the line to produce illustrations.
How would you describe your personal style?
I feel like I’m always (in the back of my mind) trying to emulate a 90s aesthetic. As if I’m from LA or NY in the 90s rocking Clarks Wallabees, Dickies and old Polo Sport; like a Lo-Life member. I like to mix workwear with street wear and vintage clothing. Being influenced by 90s Hip hop/RnB fashion and growing up with the streetwear in London is probably what defines my personal style the most.
With shoes I keep it quite simple, I only really wear classic silhouettes. With my mum being French she always used to lace me in Kickers. They stay in my circulation of footwear.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome?
Off the top of my head, for art, it would be comparing my work to others. The only time you see other people's artwork is when they want you to see it. You’re not going to see all the drafts and scrapped ideas behind their work.
When I realised this, I learnt not all my work has to be perfected, it’s still a learning and developing process when stepping out of my comfort zone. Mistakes and errors will be made. So, there’s no point stressing about comparing your work to other peoples.
Speaking to my peers, it seems like this is a common issue.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Hot weather is genuinely what motivates me. I can’t stand winter.
My dream is to be able to get a place in a hot country to live between December and the beginning of March. Ideally a place like that beach shack Zorg lives in during the beginning of ‘Betty Blue’ if you’ve seen it.
When it’s summer I’m a different person when it comes to producing work. I thrive with creativity. So, when it’s winter, the idea of being successful enough to have a place in London for summer and a beach shack somewhere else in winter is my main motivation.
What is your dream project/goal?
Probably getting Brent Faiyaz to sing on one of my beats or getting a production credit on a PartyNextDoor album haha. I’m not actually too sure about a dream project. Probably do the artwork for a major artists album. It would be something like that. I like the idea of waking up one to morning to a message from Drake being like ‘Yo I love your work. Do you want to design my next album cover?’
How did you get linked to Patta?
My friend Ellis worked for Patta in the London store. From nights out, parties, mutual friends from university and over time I got to know some of the other crew members like Wilson (@willzon_sushi_burger_ramen), Dre (@coopilito) and Arms (@arms4k). This summer, Ellis introduced me to Fats (@fatsarazzi). From there, the rest is history.
Turns out though, Fats and my mum knew each other from back in the day. It’s a small world man.
What’s your day to day like?
At the moment, I spend most my days in my uni studios. Where I’m either drawing, screen printing, making animations or using some form of Adobe software. When I get back from uni, I’m training at my athletics track, where I usually spend a couple hours there. I’m pretty fast, so I do 100/200m training 5x a week.
When I get back from track, I usually make beats, or do some online crate digging to find tracks to sample from. Recently I’ve been sampling a lot of Japanese and Cantonese funk. But yeah, that’s pretty much how my average weekday goes.
What’s your most/least favourite thing about being an artist?
I still don’t really see myself as an artist, it’s strange. In my mind it’s still like a hobby to me even though I know that’s what I do. I do enjoy the fulfilment. It’s a nice feeling when a company or individual hits you up for some work. Especially as art to the artists is quite personal.
I like knowing all the projects I’ve done for people have a part of me on them. I done the front and back cover for a magazine in Hong Kong the other day and it’s a cool feeling knowing that my art is out there in parts of the world so far from me, interacting with people I’ll never meet. For the worst thing?
This is probably a typical answer, but it would be getting a creative block. There is nothing worse than that, especially if you have a deadline coming up. It just stresses me out and seems to make the block even worse.