Learn more about Digital Artist Ergo.Josh and his workspace
"The Hexcal Studio has been an excellent centerpiece to my desk setup. I feel it's one of the strongest elements that mimic the ideal lush, brutalist, dystopian aesthetic I dream of."
Josh is an artist currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. Although he was born in Lagos, Nigeria, Josh was raised by his parents in the United States. He has always held a strong passion for the arts which persisted throughout his childhood and adolescence. During his time at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Josh immersed himself in digital art before completing his Bachelors of Architecture Degree in 2017. After 2 years of experience working as a design professional at a local architecture firm, he now pursues his art career full time as a visual artist, mentor and educator. Josh is best known for his YouTube channel, Ergo josh, where he focuses on sharing his experiences and artistic knowledge through enjoyable educational videos.
Q1: Tell us about your work.
"Currently, I am most interested in illustration. I mainly depict human characters and figures in surreal, fantasy, or realistic scenarios. I am highly fascinated by the human anatomy, and prefer drawing fundamentals like gesture and shape language to express them. I am most known for my digital work, although most of my life I have spent using traditional medium such as pencil or ink on paper.
What makes my work unique is my focus on bearing the 3D form of my subject, and utilizing interesting angles and perspectives to provide an intimate, or even intimidating experience for the viewer. I take a lot of inspiration from anime & manga, with many of my favorite artists either based in, or highly influenced by, eastern styles and aesthetics. I also enjoy depicting moderate level erotic art as well as some more unsettling, subtle horror themes in my work.
I find I am most proud of my work when I have clearly conveyed an emotion that I can feel, as well as captivate my audience. "
Q2: As a digital artist, which artist or art piece inspired you the most?
"It's near impossible for me to derive a single artist or artwork that has inspired me the most. However, there is a special selection of animated films that have compelled me to create for years. Futuristic dystopian themed films and anime such as Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Bladerunner 2049, and Cloud Atlas are some that immediately come to mind. Ever since I was a child, I was drawn to the ideals and motifs presented in these stories, attracted to some deeper understanding of self and the rawness of our relationship with others & nature."
Q3: What has been driving you so far in your art career?
"Quite a few things drive my career. The main one is my passion to create. I believe if there is any such thing as talent - some sort of skill that you are born with – that mine is my undying passion to create. It is deeply set within me, and it is even difficult for me to remain happy without drawing at least once or twice a week. As I have developed my skills however, my admiration for the work that others are creating/have created has skyrocketed. I find myself wishing to create my own version of many things that I have seen. The latest, for example, is a simple 2D visual novel game after enjoying several letsplay videos of other people enjoying them online. I am inspired to create my own interesting stories that could impact viewers the way that some of these games have impacted me. This happens with everything else I consume like films and shows as well."
Q4: During your 5-year Youtube creating experience, what is the most unforgettable moment?
"I am quite an odd person in this one regard. I can put in what some would see as tremendous effort into something, without even fully believing in its even worth. I do want to say that I think you achieve the most when you have some measure of faith in what you are doing. However, this resulted in my most exciting moment being when my first viral video on YouTube hit 6000 views after 1 week. I was in my early twenties and yet I felt the excitement of a 4 year old after they received exactly what they asked for for Christmas. It was the moment everything became real and possible to me in my mind. Since then, I have never been as giddy with excitement - not because the road has been dull, but because now, no matter how small it may be, there’s a part of me that fully believes that what I set my eyes on is possible because of that past success. I always remember how impossible that seemed and am now even applying it to my work. We all have that moment where we look around us and feel it is impossible to reach the level of our idols, but gradually you start getting close enough to see exactly how things are done. Although art is my main focus, my YouTube channel was the most memorable moment, because it arrived in a single instant."
Q5: Where do you work?
"I currently work out of my home in Atlanta, Georgia, but am looking to settle somewhere soon that is more inspiring to my creativity. I enjoy highly developed, bustling environments that still preserve enough green to feel refreshed when travelling by foot or public transit."
Q6: Let's talk about your workspace. What is essential to your work devices and setup?
"The most essential piece of my setup is my iPad Pro. It pretty much started everything, but also combines everything that I do into a single device. If necessary, I could run everything from my iPad. However, for my studio overall, I would now say it is my Mac Studio and my two 32” 4k BenQ Monitors. I have found the combination of power and reliability for the mac is unparalleled, and the monitors are perfect for my workflow. They are large enough to have several windows open at once, and monitor everything as I livestream to my audience. They are of course quite excellent for my artwork as well, providing a crisp, color accurate experience. The only thing I would replace them with are the mini-LED Apple Displays. Content wise, my Wacom tablets are essential to my artwork. I love the reliability and precision of my intuos and Cintiq 16. There are some tasks I simply cannot do better anywhere else, even on my iPad so they remain permanent additions to my setup."
Q7: What kind of role has Hexcal Studio played in your work process?
"The Hexcal Studio has been an excellent centerpiece to my desk setup. I feel it's one of the strongest elements that mimics the ideal lush, brutalist, dystopian aesthetic I dream of that would be inspired by the content pieces I mentioned earlier. It nicely frames the space between my monitors and my table, excellently supporting my mac studio as well. The most important thing I find about it is the built in cable management tray. It is startling how many cables and adapters you can fit inside that would be hanging under the desk otherwise. It’s great to be able to adjust things here and there since they are all now relatively easy to access."
Q8: Any advice you want to give to someone who just started his/her digital art path?
"I would say to strive to find a balance between what comes the most natural, while making every effort to improve and develop. Every path we take is quite unique, but two things remain constant keys to success: Bravery and Intelligence. Challenge yourself despite the chance of failure and take on your wildest dreams as often as you can! But also forever be a student and willing to learn new things from new people & places. Also, don’t give up - you will want to many times, especially if you get caught up in constantly comparing your success/progress with others. You can’t go wrong if you follow these things."