Hi! I'm Josh Dykstra, and this is my art blog.
I am a writer and artist from Tampa, FL who specializes in cartoon art and illustration. Ever since I was about eight years old I've been writing and drawing my own short stories and comic books. I was obsessed with cartoons, and dreamed of being an animator for Disney, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network. I was influenced by the art of John Kricfalusi, Dr. Seuss, and the movies of the Disney Renaissance.
In my teens I started dabbling with Flash animation, and made a few rough cartoons under the faux studio name Trendy Laundry. However, by my early twenties I had grown tired and impatient with the hobby and stopped drawing in favor of my second passion, music. I started playing bass and tenor sax with a bunch of local bands, including The Long Johns, Paranoia Dance Party and a few others. We played many shows all around FL and the southeast.
It was around this time that I started dating Kate Carleton, who I thought was way better at drawing than me. So I asked her to draw a few of my ideas for cartoons I never made. I asked her to draw them as comics, since she had no experience with animation at the time. That was the start of Naughty Bicycle, which is what we called ourselves, and was the name of our faux comic publishing studio thing. We made several indie books under that name. I would write them and she would draw them. Most recently, we have completed issues for our two main books, Facebeast and Agatha Frisky, and have exhibited at many comic conventions across the US promoting and selling our comics.
Sometime in 2012 I started drawing again. After being exposed to the indie comic scene I became so influenced again, I just had to pick up a pencil and give it a shot. In April of 2012 I launched my first webcomic, The Hall Monitors. It was my first attempt at a comic I had done all by myself in at least 15 years. It was rough, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I started working more and more on my art, always looking for ways to improve, and here I am today!
I started this blog to help me better catalog my art, improve my process, and promote myself to new audiences while doing it.
Thanks for checking out my art!
- Josh D!