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Artist in Residence: Joshua Knight

For as long as sixteen-year-old Joshua Knight can remember, art has always featured prominently in his life. The appeal of approaching a blank canvas to produce unique, eye-catching artworks continues to fascinate the talented artist and Year 12 student as he develops his own creative voice.

Joshua Knight

“I think the joy that art brings me is the freedom to create something in whichever way I want to express myself. Sometimes I want to draw more realistic scenes and sometimes I want to experiment and go all-in on an idea that may not seem that good to begin with,” he explains.

Joshua’s sources of artistic influences are many and varied, although he credits his early years in Japan for helping to shape his distinctive style.

“A lot of my ideas come from my childhood and growing up in Japan. It’s the simple parts of a lifestyle in another culture that I am able to bring through into my work, either through techniques, people, or places I’ve been to.”

He also enjoys the bold lines and instant impact that using pen and ink provides.

“I’ve always preferred to use normal biros or ink pens. It just feels like you have more freedom and flow if you have to keep going, as you can’t rub things out and get caught doing one small part.”

Tending to focus on graphic architectural designs, buildings, and urban environments the keen photographer is happiest when producing drawings from his collection of snapshots, many of which date back several years. Using this medium allows him to highlight small things or interactions happening in the background, adding interest and texture to his work.

Currently building his art portfolio for Cambridge AS-Level assessment at the end of the year, Joshua admits his biggest challenge is maintaining a steady pace to meet coursework requirements alongside his other subjects.

“But besides that, coming up with new ideas and concepts can be rewarding and satisfying after weeks of planning and researching. Sometimes my pieces don’t look pleasant as I work on them, but the feeling of adding final touches and bringing it all together is what the struggles and effort lead to,” he reveals.

“My art teacher, Ms Manuel, has considerably aided my progress this year as well. From simple pointers and suggestions, to detailed ideas and honest thoughts, she has definitely made it easier to refine my strengths and achieve confident experiments throughout the year.”

In tandem with his art studies, Joshua lists English literature as one of his favourite subjects and is finding many connections between the two classes.

“Despite covering some serious and darker themed books, finding implications, and linking ideas back to other themes has really been interesting from a creative perspective. Especially those tying in with the written analysis of the painting course.”

And Joshua is not just putting his artistic talents to use in the classroom.

“I am part of a small team who work on The Right-Angle maths magazine. Every term we release a new magazine filled with articles, puzzles, and news. I actually write the comics on the back page, most of which have poorly replicated mathematicians and awful puns, but working together, as well as being a part of a school sector, is something I have always enjoyed.”

Presently inspired to explore and experiment with various styles and techniques by fellow pen artists he has discovered online, Joshua confirms that art and design are likely to play a role in his future career.

“I do want to pursue something in the field of digital arts, but still need to choose from a few specialist studies I have in mind.”