From The Desk Of: Josh Anderson

Aug 24, 2016

Paper Chase started working with Josh somewhat recently when he came to us to print some promotional cards. We were really drawn to the dark narrative quality of his imagery, so we sat down with Josh to learn more about his inspiration.

What’s on your desk?

Computer, promo cards, magazines, memory cards, Common Sense Maxi-Single for Take It Easy and a No Age Cassette Slow Gag

Fill in the blank: "I don't show up at a meeting without _________."

portfolio and breath mints.

What's on your reading list?

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Circle by Dave Eggers, The Studio edited by Jens Hoffmann, and anything by Flannery O'Connor

What’s in your Netflix queue?

Terrence Malick, Godard, Lars Von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Dogma 95, Under The Skin, The Fits, Wendy and Lucy

What’s in your bag/always on your person?

My bag usually has a camera, some kind of fashion magazine, an art magazine, an extra shirt, and a flash. And a chia bar. Coconut.

Would try once... / No, thanks....

I would love to try skydiving but I don't think I'd want to bungee jump.

Constantly craving... / Don't see the appeal of...

I am constantly craving sugar. Mostly Smarties or donuts, It's horrible. I'm trying to give it up. I don't see the appeal of guns. At all.

_____ always inspires / ______ totally sucks

Godard always inspires. Traffic with a stick shift totally sucks.

I'm early for... / I'm late for...

I'm always early for jobs. I'm always late for hanging out with people.

______ is worth the wait / I have no patience for _____

Long, slow, drawn out movies are totally worth the wait. That said, I'm pretty impatient when it comes to inefficiency in day to day life things. I've got a strong attention span for art but I guess that’s where it stops.

Skills mastered... / I can't quite get the hang of...

I have never mastered anything and I don’t think I ever really will. Learning is too much fun. I cant really get the hang of baking deserts. I'm fine cooking dinner but as soon as I try to make a pie or cake or something it all just falls apart. Probably for the best given my sugar addiction.

Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:

Clean, future and odd

Describe the creative space at your company:

It's an old boot factory turned storage facility turned artists studios. Big old warehouse type building. My space is just filled with random stuff from making photographs. Ski boots, mirrors, good chains, plastic spiders, old cell phones, colored seamless paper, velvet, and a couple tables. It's what I would imagine most artists studios look like really. It's the first real studio space I've ever had and I love it. It's perfect for what I do and just a really great

What are your design inspirations?

I like things that are clever or inventive. Things where maybe there's something you don't notice the first time you look at it. I had a friend in high school who was a graffiti writer and he drew this piece where if you looked at it one way, it was his graffiti name, but if you looked at it another way, it was his actual name. It was like he was giving it all away, you just had to be clever enough to notice it.

How does one tap into their creative side?

For me it's about turning off the analytical side of my brain as much as I can. Allowing myself to try lots of random things until something starts to work. I usually do my best work in the morning before the responsible side of my brain starts yelling at me to get a job and quit playing around in the studio. Also, I used to think that having lots of inspiration by looking at other works of art was really important. I think now I see that more as a detriment and try to draw inspiration from my own unique life experiences. Trying to translate what I feel into what people see from me, as opposed to just sort of recycling things I see.

What’s the motto/life philosophy/advice you live by?

Everyone is pretty much the same and don't let your failures dictate whether or not you succeed.

What is your favorite aspect of the job you do?

Getting to think creatively for a living. I love getting to come up with ideas for shoots and figuring out how to make them happen and how to light them and how to arrange them and doing all of that in a creative way. Its the only way my brain really works honestly.

The paper product I can’t live without is ____ and I use it to _____.

Magazines. I use them to weight down all the furniture in my house.

What career moves and/or aspirations brought you to your current role?

Being passionate and stubborn I guess. Maybe that’s more like idealistic and stupid? Ha. All I know is I love what I do and it's just who I am. I'm 39 and I've been taking pictures since I was 13. It's my whole life so, like, its too late for me to make anything else work at this point. I think if you want to succeed at something you have to totally dedicate yourself to it, for better or worse.

Share an insight on your life or life in general that you’ve discovered:

I think the one that has hit me the hardest in the last few years is gratitude. Being grateful for the people in your life, the opportunities you have, little things like the heat on your skin on a sunny day, or being moved my a piece of music, getting to hug a family member, or having love reciprocated. It's easy to get caught up in the things that aren't perfect and let those things out weigh what you do have. It doesn't do any good. Having gratitude daily is very important to me.

When do you feel like you’re at your best?

I think when the project and my work are a good match and the editor is willing to let me just do what I do. As far as making non-editorial work, it's usually when I'm just alone in the morning at the studio with some strong coffee and music. 

Describe a typical day at work:

There really is no typical day at work and I love that. I try to do creative stuff in the morning like making still lifes in the studio or photoshop work or whatever. Then try to leave things like emails and marketing for the afternoon. Days that I'm working on editorial shoots it all kinda gets changed around depending on the shoot.

What is the best professional lesson you’ve ever learned?

Trust yourself and what you do. I've messed up so many shoots in the past thinking that I should shoot it how I imagine the client wants it and not just how I would do it naturally. It's important to figure out how you want to work then work like that every time. That and just be a nice person to work with. Don't be a jerk.

Branding is __________.

Communication, just like art. Good art communicates in a creative and unique way and so does good branding.

Because of my experience doing __________, I tend to pay more attention than most people do to __________.

Because I have worked in customer service I try to always pay attention to and respect the people across the counter from me. People in customer service just get treated so poorly sometimes! Human punching bags. It was always nice when someone just treated you like an equal in those situations. Tip generously and say hello and thank you.

How do you start and/or end your day?

I start my day by kissing my lady good morning and end my day kissing her good night.

The vice you’ll never give up is __________.

Coffee. Coffee

Tell us about your latest printed project:

I'm actually working on a book right now. It will be my first publication really and I'm very excited about it. It's called "Signal Codes, Signs, and the Zodiac". It’s a way over complicated narrative based piece about communication, paranoia, love, signs from "the universe", criminality, all told in a semi autobiographical way. It's meant to be of me but not about me and draws on various people in my life to create a composite person/life/story. Haha. It sounds fucking nuts when I spell it out like that. My elevator speech will just be, "It's about various forms of personal communication"

What was the inspiration behind this project?

The inspiration comes from my life really. It’s a fine line making work that has to do with yourself though. It can easily become narcissistic or unrelatable like telling someone about your dream. So I've been working really hard on trying to understand the universalities in my experiences and trying to communicate those things rather than my own personal trials or successes with them.

What brought you to Paper Chase Press?

I needed a couple of new promo flat cards printed and as soon as I saw the website I knew this was the place. The way all of the work was presented, the type of work being done, the type of clients. It was an easy choice to make. And thank god I found you! A good printer is SO valuable. :)

How often do you use printed goods to promote your business?

Pretty often really. I always cary a few business cards on me and keep a few flat cards in the car just in case. I mail flat cards to editors every couple months or so. I really think having well made printed materials is an important part of promoting yourself.

What's the response like to these printed goods?

Extremely positive. Everyone has really liked them.

What are your creative inspirations?

Anything thats honest and tells a story in a way I've never seen before. Whether its a photograph, a film, book, music, idea, story someone tells. There's inspiration in all of those things. But really just people and experiences in my own life. Life is fucking crazy sometimes and if you can look at it a bit objectively you can see the things that are unique and the things which are universal. The whole "its funny because its true" thing has always been a big inspiration creatively. Find something thats universal then share your personal experience with it whether good or bad and do it in a unique way. Super easy right?

make your own

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