Meet J. Woods
1.Tells us some background information, your education, what you do, how long you’ve been doing it?
I’m From Pittsburgh, Pa now living in North Jersey. My hobbies are art, graphic novels, biking, boxing, and weight training. I’ve been drawing since Kindergarden and I’m self taught getting the artist genes from both my mom and dad. ( I think more from my mom) lol. I went to Edinboro University to become an Art Teacher and ended up leaving there and going to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Graphic Design in 95. I’m an Artist, but a Graphic Designer by trade. Been in the Graphic Design field for 12 years and 6 of then was doing Graphic Apparel on the side.
2.What made you become an artist/designer?Like I said before I’ve been drawing since Kindergarden, but what got me started was my grandfather and uncles got tired of me asking them to draw superheroes when I was young. They drew me one last pic, told me to look at this drawing and try to do it yourself! And the rest was history after that. I got into Graphic Design in 95 because I loved to draw and creating pieces with computers were another way to broaden my work. So I enrolled that year at AIP and been doing it ever since.
3.In the beginning of your career how did you market yourself?
I marketed myself by pounding the pavement, telling friends, family etc., what i can do and if you needed art or design help then I was your man. Alot of it can from school, cats saw my work and wanted me to do flyers, t-shirt designs, graffiti and all kinds of stuff.
4.What tools do you use, software and hardware?Pencils, Pens, Markers, some Paints. I use both PC’s and MAC’s to get the graphic design side done. I use many graphic programs, but since I’m into Graphic Apparel, i mainly use Illustrator.
5.How do you manage the business side?
My Dream is to become one of the top Graphic Apparel Cats out there, and managiing that with a family is hard work.
After you make sure the house and fam is in order what ever I have left over goes towards my goal. I try to keep all my duck in a row (keep fresh artwork ready for print, get stuff copywrittin when needed, do my homework to see who is doing what in the graphic apparel game, what new trends are out and what new programs are in).
6.where and how do you get inspiration to design?Everywhere, everything and everyone inspires me. From a hot artist whos skills make me push mine to the next level. To a scenery in a park.
7.what is some advice you can give to people just starting out?
Stay focused, stay strong and always do your homework no matter what field your in.
Research your field, find out what’s new, find out the leaders and losers in the game because you can learn from both of them on what to do and not to do. Most important let no one kill you dream.
Joe, thank you for taking the time to share with us.