We first met the duo, Jolby, late last year while we were in Portland, hanging out at the famous Grass Hut gallery. We were there for an artshow and these two guys with their cool dog came up and introduced themselves. We chatted for quite a while, they were big fans of Poketo and it was clear that Jolby were two of the nicest guys out there. When we got back to LA, little presents arrived in the mail…. awesome zines, prints, posters, all handmade, limited edition stuff from Jolby. We fell in love instantly and some months later, here we are with the new Poketo x Jolby wallet. Welcome new artists, Jolby, to the Poketo family!
Who is Jolby?
Jolby is made up of Josh Kenyon & Colby Nichols. We met at art school in California and began collaborating on an apparel line as our first project together. 6 years later after working together as Art Directors at design agencies and creating art shows, we went out on our own in 2010 to continue collaborating under the studio name Jolby.
How do you guys go about creating a new illustration together? Who usually starts, how do you work?
We both will concept ideas together and sketch out the things that we see in our heads. We try to dream big at this stage and see how far we can take the idea until deciding on a direction. From there we determine who should do what: Josh does the pattern work, textures, and color while Colby does the characters and larger shapes. After we start in on a piece, the file will be passed back and forth and we continue to push until it’s finished. This process is the same for client work and the art we make.
Who are Jolby’s friends [referring to Jolbyandfriends.com]…what and who are your inspirations and heroes when you first got started?
To be honest, the domain name was a backup URL choice, jolby.com was taken, but we quickly realized that we’d be working alongside many of our friends to complete projects and ideas. For each of our solo shows we collaborated with different plush doll makers, a photographer, two different musicians that recorded two separate soundtracks for shows, a wood-cutter, and more. We really enjoy involving creative people that share the same mindset as we do and it has helped us to create work that otherwise would have fallen short of our goals. For our next art show we are collaborating with some amazing creatives to bring our wacky ideas to life. We also like to think of our clients as friends. We feel the best work is done when we have a great relationship with those we are doing work for.
As far as heroes go, we consider ourselves fans first and creators second. The people who have inspired us at our beginnings are people and teams that we still look up to. Colby’s heroes: Steven Harrington, Tim Biskup, Lab Partners. Josh’s Heroes: Charlie Harper, Don & Ryan Clark, Ryan McGinness, Sanna Annukka.
Are there any reoccurring themes in your illustrations? If so, what are they and why?
Unconsciously we draw a lot of suns, long and strange noses, mustaches, pipes and triangles. We illustrate what makes us happy. We think it’s important to smile everyday and alot of the reoccurring illustrations just come from what’s around us. Josh is inspired by Asian and Indian pattern work and textures. Moving from California to Portland definitely explains the drawing of suns, but the others are just our go-to’s.
Tell us a little about this work that was turned into the wallet.
We first sketched a fox with his tail made from filigree (which was our main inspiration) and everything else sprang from that. We played around with the idea of a fox hiding from a hunter. We came up with the idea specifically for Poketo and worked together to make the piece(s) what they are!
We met last year while we were visiting Portland. Tell us a bit about your lovely city and take us to some of your favorite spots!
Portland is the first place that feels like home to each of us. It has everything we could ask for out of a city and the people here are just amazing. It’s the first time that I have lived so close to such lush nature that surrounds you. It truly has inspired and has pushed both of us as artists. Josh: Some of my favorite spots in Portland are Sterling Coffee, Coava Coffee, Barista, Sushi Mazi, Grain & Gristle, Biwa, Killer Burger, Olympic Provisions and for non food related spots Crafty Wonderland Shop, Powell’s and the forest.
Colby: My faves are: Voodoo Donut, the many food-cart blocks, Stumptown Coffee, Hair of the Dog Brewery & Taproom. Some awesome galleries to check out: Together Gallery, Grass Hut Gallery, Land PDX, Grassy Knoll Gallery.
Nice… more places on the list for next time! Thanks guys, we love your stuff!