Josh Richardson creates lavishly surreal illustrations with a touch of wicked humor
Josh Richardson’s Illustrated World, known online as Grich, makes something feel like something has been twisted and corrupted in the best possible way. His illustrations feature multi-headed devils struggling with multiple limbs, a consumer drifting across the desolate sea, a plastic bag littering his own greed, and abstract creatures whose facial features have descended into a gloriously chaotic heap.
This may all seem like a lot to deal with. But with his vibrant color choices and a sense of illustration that also demonstrates an increased sensibility to design, Josh has created a surreal realm that is easy to explore through his humor.
âI do a lot of silly, surreal, and colorful illustrations and animations,â Josh told Creative Boom. “I like to create work that is relevant to people and work that people can just laugh at a bit.” Originally inspired by artists such as Jim Stoten and the art director and character designer behind Yellow Submarine Heinz Edelmann, his style was also influenced by his passion for “old school Disney-esque art”.
This heady cocktail of influences has created decent results. Just take Who Nose, a room where a bunch of noses, each with their own mouths and rubbery Mr Tickle-style arms, pinch their nostrils and honk at each other in candy-colored chaos.
Then there are illustrations like An Odd Bunch, where the faces of what could be dogs have been brought together in a stack of eyeballs, muzzles and mouths that are reminiscent of another of Josh’s key influences, Pablo Dalas. Both pieces are the height of absurdity, but Josh’s talent for composition turns them into something more than the sum of their extremely disjointed parts.
Having recently left Bournemouth University of the Arts with a degree in illustration, Josh’s career started with commissions for animated music videos. “Animation and humor have always been a great passion for me, and I have always wanted to make films of any caliber,” he explains.
âAfter studying many directors and seeing how they shoot and produce scenes, I started working on my own productions in college. It allowed me to work with musical artists last year, because I ‘helped to direct and animate their clips. “
Josh’s personal and professional animations, which cover such bizarre topics as a local builder who avoided taxes by building toilet rods in the toilet, are all available to watch on his website. And while you’re at it you can pick up impressions of his work too.