Joshua Norton has been making prints for 15 years, having studied under artists Karen Kunc, Bryan Ritchie & Francisco Souto. Originally inspired to pursue printmaking by the psychedelic rock posters of the sixties, he was soon making screen prints & lithographs. His work has been exhibited across the USA and in Finland, the UK and Australia.
Tell me about yourself, Joshua.
I'm an artist who uses woodcut printmaking as my primary mode of expression. My work is graphic, bold and narrative. I like my work to play with the medium's strengths (showing the wood grain, maintaining that graphic cut line, layering the inks, etc). In addition to creating work for exhibition and sale, I do some Illustration as well.
How did you originally get into your craft?
I started drawing before I could walk. My early influences were comic books and my big brother's record collection. In high school, I became aware of rock and roll poster art. My introduction to printmaking was the need to create posters for a band I was in. Eventually I dropped music for art and studied screen printing and stone lithography. I got my BFA in 2001. After school was over, I taught myself how to make woodcuts because woodcut seemed like the most graphic and the boldest of the print processes, (and I love drawing into wood with carving tools). From 2005-2009, I studied woodcut printmaking under Karen Kunc in Lincoln Nebraska where I earned my MFA. I've been living / working / exhibiting in Minneapolis since 2009.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I love making work. It doesn't really matter to me if it's making the initial drawings, or carving the blocks, or printing the editions. I like being in the studio with records spinning and feeling the electricity of ideas being brought from the mind to the physical world.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
The instability. Sales can be erratic sometimes, but I'm working on a solution.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
An artist, a musician or an archeologist. It's funny how little my interests have changed!?!
What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Die! Akhnaten Die! woodcut. It's big, it's bold and there's a nice tension to the image... like somebody's gonna make a move any second.
What other artists out there do you love?
Ric Stultz's fun and thoughtful illustrations.
Marq Spusta's nature-mutant poster work.
Andy DuCett's meticulous assemblage and collage.
My twin brother Noah Norton's sasquatch sculptures.
Nick Howard's ink drawings.
Anastasia Ward's sculptures.
There's way too many to mention here.
What does your future hold?
Who Knows? Perhaps more illustration work? As long as I'm making work that excites me, I think I'll be ok.