How do your works reflect the place and history of your origins?
I was born and raised in San Francisco, but I have been living in Los Angeles since 2014. While my original home and heritage are something that I consider very central to my identity, neither have played a big factor in my recent work.
Where do you get the inspiration for your artworks?
I draw a lot of inspiration from classic fantasy art. I’ve been playing Magic: The Gathering for about 20 years and always cite early card art as paramount in developing my interest in illustration. In the past few years I’ve also spent a lot of time looking at art from other tabletop games like HeroQuest, Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer, as well as classic video game art (Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx, Ultimate Play the Game, etc.)
Outside of vintage gaming, I’m also very much inspired by classic death and thrash metal art. I’ve been avidly listening to metal since I was a teenager, although it was only in the past few years that I really began to consider its intersections with fantasy art (obviously in terms of content but also material and technique).
Some artists I’ve been really into recently are John Blanche, Larry Elmore, Tim Stamper, Clyde Caldwell, Erol Otis, Julie Bell, Mike Winterbauer, Dave Sutherland, Kent Mathieu, and Andreas Marschall.
Do you feel like medievalism is making a comeback, in terms of aesthetics, ideology, philosophy? How is it present in your work?
Honestly, I don’t consider my art medieval, but rather in the realm of fantasy. While the two genres certainly overlap a lot, medieval ideology can get wrapped up with other extremist/right-wing belief systems that I find repugnant.
If you could pick one medieval weapon, which one would it be and why? It can also be a spell.
I’ve always been drawn to maces and flails – they are the most fun to draw, but more importantly, they are the most evil.
Are there any themes, tales or stories that repeatedly appear in your artwork?
Skulls with eyeballs and lots of spikes.
Will you be releasing any new projects this year?
I’m currently wrapping up a book project that is a collaboration with Adult Swim and Dark Horse. I can’t say too much about it other than that it is going to be epic and should be in circulation by the end of this year.
Other than that, I’m hoping to get away from the computer and work with my hands more. I’m an avid surfer and in the past few months I finally got around to painting a few of my boards. I’m still experimenting with the process, but it has been super rewarding and I would love to paint more boards this year. I also have a few ideas for some sculptures that I’d really like to make.
BIO / Josh Freydkis is an award-winning illustrator and animation director from San Francisco currently based in Los Angeles. Selected clients include: Apple, Google, Adult Swim, MTV, Fools Gold Records, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, Vans and Redbull, and more.