24-year-old Josten hails from Durham in North Carolina. ’When I was younger, I would draw cartoons in my skateboard magazines,’ he says. ‘When I was in middle school, I would draw little cartoons on my tests after the last question, to give my teacher a little laugh, and put a smile on his or her face. I feel that what I love doing now – graphic design – has always been a part of my life.’
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Tell us a bit about yourself…
When I was younger, I had no clue that what I was doing was related to graphic design. I had started doing affiliate marketing and creating ads marketing those products, as well as modifying my past blogs that I had using html, although I had little idea about what I was doing.
Then I started skateboarding again and it was when I was talking with some friends that I first heard the words ‘graphic design’. I went home and found the school that I am currently attending, The Art Institute, where I’m currently receiving my associates degree.
Recently, I’ve started to become more fascinated by little things I find when I’m out walking or out and about. Ever since I started watching Mad Men, I have had a strong interest in vintage advertisements, which have been a great thing to start collecting!
Now that I have truly found what I want to do for the rest of my life I find it amazing that I thought I would follow the same path as my father. I am so thankful for the support from him and my mother about my chosen path to pursue graphic design.
I’m currently finishing up my degree in graphic design. Before I learned what graphic design was I had no clue there was a name for it! Being a skateboarder I always wanted to make skateboard graphics. Also, I always pick my skateboard deck by the design that is on the bottom even though it’ll get scratched off – I tend to do the same thing with graphic t-shirts as well: I pick the shirt based upon the design on front.
What are your inspirations?
My inspirations come from a wide range of sources. I tend to get a lot of inspiration from just going outside and looking at nature. My main source of inspiration is everything that is around me. A lot of it also comes from my curiosity – it tends to lead me to fun and exciting ways to complete projects. Looking at the designs that are used in public spaces helps me to see how design can be used in a negative and/or positive way. Watching old movies helps me see things in a different way as well, and listening to different types of music helps inspiration to come easy when designing. One other way I gather inspiration is when I take my dog for a walk!
What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?
My favorite piece of work that I have done is this self project for a restaurant re-branding. One of the many things I loved about it was that I had limited resources to complete the project, which, being limited, allowed me to really be more creative.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
I don’t really have just one favorite. I really like the simplistic Swiss style of design. If I had to narrow it down I really like Doyle Dane Bernbachs vintage advertisements, George Lois’s Esquire covers, Massimo Vignelli furniture and American Airlines logo, Charles and Ray Eames furniture, Eero Saarinen furniture, Josef Muller Brockman, Paula Scher, Erik Spiekerman, Milton Glaser, Bauhaus masters, Saul Bass, Wim Crouwel, Aaron Draplin, Paul Rand, Dieter Rams, and Steve Jobs… To name a few!
I really like to look at the design work of those who have came before me to see the influence their work has on the design industry today.
All images © Josten Dooley. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.