JOLBY: [Jōl-bee] noun. 50% Josh, 50% Colby, 100% awesome. Even though they abandoned our fair city of San Diego for the greener (and rainier!) pastures of Portland, we just can’t stay mad at ‘em. Jolby creates work with the goal to “make people smile” and they’ve been wildly successful since joining forces in 2005. Long story short, their art is stupendous and they’re darn cute to boot, so without further ado, we present Jolby!
WP: Do either one of you have any unusual talents? Juggling, ear wiggling, etc.? (For instance, I can flare just one nostril at a time – it’s a big hit at parties).
Josh: Hahaha! Um, let’s see- I can dislocate my shoulders and put my arms over my head.
Colby: I can whistle without pursing my lips. I used to do it all the time in school and drive my teachers crazy. They couldn’t figure out where the whistling was coming from.
WP: So one gross and one amazing talent… excellent. Moving along! You guys work so well together, we have to ask – when you met at the Art Institute, was it love at first sight?
Josh: We actually didn’t meet until Colby’s last quarter in school. We had a portfolio class together and we both admired each other’s work and just casually said we should work on something. The first year that we worked together it was all business. We didn’t really hang out till years later.
WP: What’s the best part about living in Portland?
Josh: For me it’s the nature. I haven’t ever lived in place like Portland where you can be in the city and escape into the forest in minutes. It’s in endless source of inspiration for me.
Colby: For me it’s the fact that this city has everything I need to work hard, like an amazing creative culture, inspiring creatives all around us, great coffee. It also has everything I need to take relax, like lots of craft beer and beautiful surroundings.
WP: Even though San Diego most definitely beats Portland in terms of craft beer, we’ll let it slide. What exciting stuff do you guys have planned for 2012?
Josh: We just signed a contract for our next children’s book and our first vinyl toy will be coming out later this year. I think the biggest news was we were asked to be a part of The Art Institute’s national ad campaign. It still feels really crazy and we are honored that anyone, especially the school we started at, would ask us to represent their graphic design program.
WP: Seeing as we’re total vinylheads over here, we are definitely going to need a heads up when the toy is released!
WP: Cats or dogs?
Colby: Cats! This is probably the biggest issue Josh and I disagree on.
WP: Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Josh: Jim Flora and Alexander Girard.
Colby: Tim Biskup and Geoff McFetridge.
WP: What are three things you never leave your house without?
Colby: My iPhone, chapstick, and a sketchbook.
Josh: iPhone, sketchbook, and my dog Archie.
WP: What kind of dog is Archie? We love dogs!!
Josh: He’s a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua. He is kind of like a cat and an old man but he’s amazing. He’s the office guard dog! J
WP: You guys have done work for huge companies like Disney and T-Mobile – do you have a favorite project, or one you’re most proud of?
Josh: The book we did for The Muppets was one of the coolest projects we have done. I think the Shapes & Smiles was the other project I am most proud of. We pushed ourselves harder than ever to try new styles and techniques. It was an incredibly stressful time but now looking back the 2 months we worked on it, more styles and ideas came out than ever before.
Colby: It’s hard to choose just one, but I think my favorite to-date that I’m most proud of is our recent art show “Shapes & Smiles”. I think it represents us the best visually and it was so much fun to create all of that art.
WP: Shapes and Smiles was ridiculously awesome. We are so stoked we got to check out the stuff IRL. Speaking of work, what does your workspace look like?
Colby: We work in a long room and share the space with 5 other creatives and a few dogs. We call the space “Fieldhouse” and share it with Scribble Tone, Chris Forrette (of Cuban Council fame), Andy McMillan, and an intern of ours. The walls that face Josh and my workspace are adorned with tons of vinyl toys, books, and prints. We have a giant type piece on the wall made up of nails and string that reads “Get Better.” It’s our office’s creative mantra to remember why we all started working in the same space together: to push each other and get better at what we do.
WP: Josh – we see from your 11 Favorites from 2011 blog post that you mention “successful mushroom hunting”. Can you give us some more detail about your adventures with fungus?
Josh: Glad you asked. Just outside the city you can find a bounty of amazingness in the woods. I normally go for chanterelles, and morels. But I bring along a field guide so I can identify other mushrooms and plants. I never did it before moving to Portland, but it has become one of my favorite hobbies. I would love to go into Washington and North California to forage.
Colby: I don’t go foraging with Josh, but I will text him many Super Mario Brothers jokes whenever he’s out mushroom hunting.
WP: Colby, if you were to go to a Doug Loves Movies podcast taping, what would your nametag look like?
Colby: I’ve actually been to 2 of his tapings! Both of my name tags that I made were pretty pathetic, but my fiancé’s actually got chosen and she was mentioned on the podcast. We love Doug and I’m very much obsessed with comedy podcasts of late.
WP: Give “Mike and Tom Eat Snacks” a whirl – between MATES and DLM, you’ve got the funniest podcasts covered!
There you have it! Be sure to check out Jolby’s collection available here, and stay tuned for more great things from our Portland pals.