‘‘G’day ladies and gentleman, welcome to Draw with Jazza, I’m Jazza and today we’re going to…” is the cheerful greeting of local artist, animator and popular social media personality Josiah Brooks, as he introduces his very popular YouTube channel of arty entertainment: Draw with Jazza.
Josiah’s journey to running his own successful YouTube channel, as well as publishing his own book, is one of those inspiring stories that we love to hear.
At age eleven he developed an interest in drawing, inventing characters and story telling. By thirteen, he was creating animated content for the internet. After continuing his passion for drawing throughout his high school years, he went on to become a self-employed game developer and independent animator.
In 2011 he began his YouTube channel as a way of sharing his skills and passion for character design and animation. As his channel rapidly grew in popularity, his content included more art-related entertainment.
Watching Jazza draw is both mesmerizing and inspiring. Our favourite content is the art challenge. Many of us will have used white out—but not with the amazing results achieved by Jazza. What about coffee?. It’s fascinating watching Jazza stretch his skills and problem solve, all while entertaining us and producing beautiful artwork.
Drawing and inventing characters is Jazza’s speciality, so, of course, his character design sessions are just as amazing. Members of his audience help him to work out a character brief and then he takes us on the journey of development as he first brainstorms with sketches, then works his way through to a finished character and artwork, completing the session with a story. He makes it look so easy, you feel like giving it a go yourself. Certainly, our son, currently 11 years old, has improved his drawing since subscribing to Draw with Jazza.
More recently, Josiah Brooks published a book on the character design process called Creating Characters. His book is not like other ‘how to draw’ books. The notes that accompany the illustrations are a detailed wealth of knowledge and practical experience ready to be tapped into. Josiah shows us how to design characters on purpose such as you might for a brief, but also for yourself and for fun.
Much like writing a story, he encourages us to find out as much as we can about our character and their world before we begin. Then with reference material in hand and a framework character to start us off, he takes us through the steps of brainstorming and thinking through every aspect of the character until we reach a completed design and deliverable artwork.
The book follows the same process that he uses on his YouTube channel. It makes a great reference for character design and was how we come to know about Jazza’s amazing talents in the first place.
It is wonderful to see someone from Gippsland doing what they love and sharing it with the world. Keep up the good work! “and… until next time, I’ll see you later”.
Josiah’s book is available to buy through Reader’s Emporium, Traralgon, readersemporium.com.au.