Joseph Qiu has loved drawing since his early childhood. None of his family are artists, but his parents also liked drawing when they were young. Joseph used to draw everywhere; in textbooks, on walls and even on classmates’ clothes! If his parents wanted to know his school progress, they only needed to see which textbook page had his latest doodling.
The principal once called Joseph’s mother because Joseph had used ballpoint pen to draw on the school desk and it couldn’t be erased. Surprisingly, Joseph’s mother didn’t tell him off—the drawing looked good.
Even though he loved drawing, Joseph didn’t attend art school and kept drawing as his biggest hobby ... Until the day he realized it might be possible to make a living by doing art.
While he was working as a designer, after graduating with a graphic design degree, Joseph taught himself how to draw and paint. He attended workshops and intensive courses, and learned a lot from many great artists around him. From 2009, he started to receive commissions and to work as a freelance illustrator. His work has been featured on advertising campaigns and various publications worldwide.
He loves drawing historical scenes, people and caricatures. And, of course, pirates are one of his favourite subjects. In reality, those guys were mostly badass, rough, rigid and not as romantic as we read in stories or saw in films. Yet they still have some positive characteristics. Joseph has caricatured them in these works to feature them in a humorous way.
Born in China but taught in New Zealand, Joseph adopts both eastern and western art aesthetics. Not only does he make his art digitally, he also paints traditionally in oil. The old masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, John Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres really inspire him.
When he’s not working on commission, Joseph goes out to sketch people and landscapes. He now lives in beautiful New Zealand with his wife and son.