Joshua Gilsenan - Behind The Brush

Welcome to the third installment of my latest blog series called 

Behind The Brush.


Today I've got the very talented Josh from Soft Nudie Jazz (SNJ) joining me on my virtual couch. I have been a big fan of his work over the last year and have gushed over his recent cafe illustrations. I'm a big foodie and coffee snob, so as soon as I seen he was illustrating local cafes around Brisbane...I was hooked! (Psst...go and find the illustration of the cafe Yolk on his's my favourite).

Grab a bevvie, chill out and enjoy hearing from Mr. Soft Nudie Jazz. 


Hey mate, tell us a little bit about yourself! And where are you based? 

My name is Josh and I am 23 years old. I grew up in Coffs Harbour, the town known for The Big Banana, before moving up to Brisbane to study a Bachelor of Media and Communication. Brisbane has now been my home for the past 5 years.



What do you do? When did you start and how did you come to do what you do? 

I like to share creative and fun illustrations that I make for myself and others to enjoy. I started my Instagram account 4 years ago with average looking drawings that I did once a day, and if you scroll far enough back you will see a completely different version of softnudiejazz.
I really enjoyed sharing these drawings and I was motivated to improve, so I learnt how to use Illustrator. Once I was more confident with my art, I began doing portraits and even made some shirts. Now I keep making as much art as I can as well as trying new styles and collaborating with more artists.


Is this currently a side hustle or your full time job? And because I'm nosey, what was your previous job?

This is a bit of a side hustle. Originally, SNJ was just a place to draw, and in some ways it still is, but it would be awesome for it to grow. My actual job is in advertising, and I used to work flippin' burgers while I was in uni.


What do you primarily use for your work? Paint, digital, ink? Why is it your preferred medium?

I primarily use Adobe Illustrator and mostly used my laptop trackpad, until recently I borrowed a Wacom tablet, which has made a huge difference! I am hoping to save up soon and get an iPad though, as this seems to be a game changer. I also enjoy painting, however I can be impatient waiting for the paint to dry.



In ONLY 3 words, how would you describe your art?

Soft Nudie Jazz.... haha. But for a real answer, I would say:


What do you LOVE most about your art? 
I love that it feels like it is always developing and changing. As I find new interests and gain new skills, my art always feels exciting and fresh to me.


When in your life did you have the "I've made it" moment. I want to hear your biggest highlight in your biz so far! 

When I got to sell shirts at Junky Comics, which used to be in West End, it was a big deal for me to see a product that I made in an actual shop.


Where do you draw inspiration from? 

I find if I get stuck and need inspiration, I like to scroll through my photos until something stands out that I haven't really noticed and that could work as an illustration. Sometimes, it will be photos I have taken on a holiday of an interesting shop or sign, and other times it's plants, things around the house, or even screenshots of things I have seen on social media.

Alright, skies the limit...who/what is your dream brand collab? What would it be?

So many! I think it would be awesome to collab with Good Pair Days. My brother got me onto this subscription wine service. They have awesome branding and great wine.



So, I'm a massive celeb lover and get star struck easily....Have you ever had your art purchased/liked or commented on by someone famous? We need names 👏🏽 and 👏🏽 details. If not, who would you love to have your art hanging in their house? 

In terms of celebs, I had the Youtuber Binging with Babish share some fanart I made of him which was awesome! Sam from Ball Park Music has also bought one of my shirts which is super cool. I even get star struck when artists such as yourself comment on my work or the places I draw start to follow me haha.

When you’re not doing your art, what would we find you doing?

Work through the week and weekends will always consist of going to cafes, pubs and most often buying plants.


Who in the creative world do you look up to? Drop their IG handles so we can stalk them:

@k.rae.designs of course! - awww you're too kind


What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Make art that makes you happy and keep trying to learn new skills. I never thought I would be able to make anything close to what I do now without just trying different methods.



ALRIGHTY now for some Quick Fire questions 

Hot drink order: Flat white with almond milk.
All time fav movie: I have a few...I have always really enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs the World but love Waynes World and Ferris Bueller's Day off. 
Go to ice-cream flavour: Mango
1 song you could listen to over and over again: This one changes all the time for me. Let's go with "Frank" by Ball Park Music, or recently I have been replaying a song called I'll Just Dance" by Su Lee.
Go to alcoholic drink: Almost any type of beer. I also enjoy a glass of Red wine.
Favourite conspiracy theory: Not sure if this is much of a conspiracy theory or just more of an unpopular opinion I have. I believe that Chapstick makes people actually have chapped lips, and therefore, need to buy more chapstick...
Name a quirk/something weird that you do that makes you, you - (you don't have to explain...just let it out): This may sound weird but when I asked this question to my family I got told my quirk was checking if people have lint in their dryers. Bit of a cleanoholic and just don't want anyone to accidentally start a house fire.
If you could have a dinner party with 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?
*Gordon Ramsay 
*Hamish Blake 
*Dave Grohl
They can all bring plus ones.


Thanks sooooo much Josh for taking the time out to answer these bad boys. 

Want to see more of Josh's work? Check him out below:

Instagram: @softnudiejazz


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