Bus Ride — Acrylic on illustration board. This piece was based on the experience of riding an overcrowded, inner-city bus and not knowing who will sit next to you.

Featured Artist: Joseph Watson

The selection of images in Joseph’s gallery represents the edgier side of his work. Documentation of urban life and the scenarios that occur in this space are what inspire these images. Not everything is beautiful and polished. In most cases, beauty lies beneath the grit. Sometimes, it just needs to be presented in a certain way in order for others to get and eventually appreciate it. Limited color palettes reminiscent of rust, dirt, coffee, spices and all of the other forgotten elements in life take new form in his work. These forms are illustrated, single-frame stories ranging from riding on an overcrowded, musty bus to the challenges of climbing the steps of success and the pitfalls involved in doing so.

Joseph, also known by his signature “JOEE,” grew up in Gardena, Calif. Art has been a creative escape for him ever since his youth. Throughout the years, Joseph had the opportunity to be influenced not only by great creative mentors, but by the wonderful Los Angeles landscape. His full bio is here.

Bus Ride — Acrylic on illustration board. This piece was based on the experience of riding an overcrowded, inner-city bus and not knowing who will sit next to you.
Bus Ride 2 — Digital illustration. This is a follow-up to “Bus Ride.” Joseph wanted to illustrate the whole bus-riding experience from more of a cross-sectional side view. The experience of your bus ride boils down to who you are sitting next to; it can change your whole opinion about public transportation.
Down in the Town — Acrylic on wood. This tells the story of a young man who moved to Las Vegas. He falls in love with a pole dancer and eventually becomes homeless. You can see him as “before” as the figure on the leftmost side of the piece. The figure on the rightmost side is him now.
Levels — Acrylic on canvas. Networking with key individuals is essential to becoming successful. This series of connecting walkways represents the maze-like journey that we sometimes have to take to access these individuals.
Morning Rush — Digital illustration. After taking daily trips to local coffee shops, Joseph started to notice that there was always someone holding up the line because they wanted to buy coffee for all of his or her co-workers. This frustrated him, so he decided to illustrate a piece that told this story. Coffee shops are always filled with interesting characters — everything from shady realtors to people pretending they are reading the latest articles. There are lots of good people there, too!
Sunday at the Swap Meet — Digital illustration. Joseph’s art career started at a swap meet in Southern California. It is the same swap meet where the gangster-rap group NWA got its start. Joe wasn’t a rapper; he was a T-shirt airbrush artist. This scene depicts what it was like on a slow Sunday, while he people-watched all day. Try to find the rat that stole the popsicle from the paletas cart!
The Cars — Acrylic on canvas. Just a few cool-looking vehicles.
Tough Love — Acrylic on canvas. This piece is about a pit-bull dad and a Dobermann mom. Their pup is nested between them. There’s nothing like the feeling of safety in the big city.

Joseph, also known by his signature “JOEE,” grew up in Gardena, Calif. Art has been a creative escape for him ever since his youth. Throughout the years, Joseph had the opportunity to be influenced not only by great creative mentors, but by the wonderful Los Angeles landscape. His full bio is here.

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