Contributor Profile - Josh Powers of Cake and Kingdom
This month we're taking you to a land
where illustration reigns supreme. Whether it's an imaginative
commercial poster, an off-the-cuff get well card, or even an
expertly rendered chalkboard, the artwork of Josh Powers (aka Cake &
Kingdom) takes us to more eye-catching world--a
place where beautiful things are crafted, cut up, painted, and
pasted into place. Here's what he had to say about his work:
What sparks your
It's hard to pin down what exactly
sparks my inspiration from day to day. It could be something I saw
while taking a walk or a dream that I had last week or an old
poster on a light post I noticed in my way to work. Inspiration
comes in very subtle ways, you just have to be ready and take it
when it comes.
How would you describe your
My style tends to be on the whimsical
side. I guess I use my illustrations as a way to escape from the
hustle and bustle of the real world, so there's no sobering
commentary or poignant messages I'm trying to convey with my work.
I just try to make stuff that might be fun to look at.
What's been the biggest
singular influence on your work?
Just as it's difficult to corral
certain things that spark my inspiration, it's an equally fuzzy
proposition trying to point to a singular influence on my work. I
think it's a million different things that I have seen since the
time I started understanding what my eyes were looking at. It could
be the countless Saturday morning cartoons I watched as a kid,
fireworks, hand puppets, an old classmate from third grade, the
back of a cereal box, magazines that my grandma used to have on her
coffee table... like everyone else, I have sponged up all the
sights and sounds that have been my experiences in life and what
comes out are my illustrations.
Which project has given you the
most satisfaction so far?
I used to be a chalkboard artist for
Whole Foods Market and I still do freelance chalkboards from time
to time. Out of all the design and illustration projects that I've
been lucky enough to work on, I still really get a lot of
satisfaction working on chalkboards. Maybe it's the tactile quality
of the chalks or the idea that the chalkboard artwork is temporary
and won't last forever, so I savor it a little more for a shorter
time and then it's gone.
What do you do to keep your
I try and draw or doodle every day. No
matter how nonsensical or basic the sketch might be, there's always
a little morsel of an idea that can be used as a springboard to
something bigger. I have stacks and stacks of scrap paper full of
doodles that I have yet to get to.
What compels you to
I've always liked the notion of using
design and illustration as a way to convey a message or idea,
whether it's an ad for coffee or a poster for a local band. It's
fun trying to create something compelling enough for someone to
want to look at, which has become more challenging in this age of
ever shortening attention spans.
What computer programs and
hardware do you use?
I primarily use Adobe Illustrator and
some Photoshop on the computer side. I might also use tons of
scratch paper, paints, pens, pencils, chalks, rulers and X-acto
knives, depending on the project.
Along with working for Corbis,
what else do you do?
Besides working at Corbis I try to keep
busy with freelance work. I also make paper goods that I sell
online and at various stationery and gift stores around town.
Besides my creative stuff, I'm lucky to have a tightknit network of
family and friends close by to hang out with, including a dog named
Ollie and a cat named Poops, who keep me busy and covered in animal
One random tidbit about you
that only someone close knows.
I'm fairly superstitious and have been
known to carry around different objects that I have deemed "lucky"
in my front pocket wherever I go. A flattened nickel run over by a
train, a plastic Smurf figurine and a vintage bird pin are some of
the "lucky" trinkets I have carried around since I was a kid.
See Josh's work on Veer