On a rainy Saturday, Pratik and I jumped on the A train and ventured out to Bed-Stuy. Man, this is far, we mused. It’s a marvel that Josh ever makes it into the city.
45 minutes outside the city, we found ourselves in a quaint neighborhood composed of look-alike 1950s townhouses. We rounded to the back of the house and were welcomed by Josh, donning his “black excellence” sweatshirt, black jeans, and tall black socks. He flashes his charming grin, and immediately gets to work, cooking us brunch. (If this is how every interview goes, I seriously wouldn’t mind, I thought).
My eyes drift around the apartment… I immediately notice the nail polish, makeup, and hair tools. Josh shares the apartment with one (he has 5, and 1 brother) of his sisters. There’s a big kitchen with an island, where Josh is hard at work. In the living room, my eyes greet a red leather couch, a comfortable looking chair cluttered with music production equipment (you definitely get the idea that an artist lives here), polaroids of fun-filled nights with friends, and an Oxfam calendar displaying the February image of protesters being held at gunpoint.
Josh, Pratik, and I are friends. Josh is one of those friends that you can count on for good advice and creative musings. Josh was a huge supporter of theyoungnyc, and agreed to be the guinea pig. As we kick off the interview, I mumble..
“So uh.. What.. do you.. do? No - uh - wait, let’s start with the basics. What’s your name, where are you from?”
A creative living in Brooklyn.
Josh grew up in Delaware with six strong-minded females. I can’t help but think this is why he’s such a wonderful human, and why he described in painful (as a single person on Valentine's Day) detail the romantic day he had planned for his girlfriend.
Josh knew from a very young age that his path was art related, but his parents worked hard to get him a good education, so he tried his luck with college. I’ll come back to that later. Today, Josh is a Senior Art Director for Leijas, a creative agency that focuses on projects for good. He produces his own music, writes and submits his writings for publication, and created his own clothing line - which is where we focus in the interview.
The Resistance Collection is a clothing line that promotes social change. Currently, Josh has 10 designs created with the following messages: Resist, Black Excellence Matters, Why is There No Maximum Wage?, Equal pay - now that is sexy, We’re Gonna Make It, Have No Fear, Fight.Win., No Racism, Free Radical, Slay the Patriarchy.
One of Josh's Designs
Check them out at theresistancecollection.com.
When I asked Josh about the motivation behind creating this clothing line, he said “How do I, as a creative, contribute? And put it in a format that everyone can understand?” Each design focuses on a different issue, and conveys a different message. 20% of the proceeds go to organizations like the NAACP & ACLU to help further the fight for civil liberties for all.
Now, you might be asking, how does Josh have time for all of these side hustles, on top of a full time job? It’s the classic question we all ask ourselves as we think about that thing we’ve always wanted to do. And we think but - I just don’t have the time. To this, Josh used a seriously real analogy: “I am terrible at saving my money.. But there’s nobody stealin’ my money! I’m just spending it.” To achieve what we want, we must be ruthless with our time.
The other key piece of advice Josh has for starting something new is to have the confidence to take the leap, and to give yourself the room to learn and fail. When he got into writing, some if it was not good, he says. That’s okay - no one ever has to see that. Consistency is key, and you can start small.
“Is there something you’ve tried at and failed?” I ask. Josh chuckles and responds “yep… college.” He tried Economics, hated it, and re-routed towards the path he always knew he had an affinity for: design. But it wasn’t easy. Before he got a job at 360i that allowed his design career to blossom, Josh was living off bread and peanut butter in Chicago. So if you’re reading this while burning your tongue on a $1 slice of pizza, know that it’s all part of the journey.
As we closed out the interview, I asked Josh about any mottos or philosophies he lives by. “You have a duty to fulfill your talent, it’s a gift, and you shouldn’t be irresponsible with it.” And this couldn’t have resonated with me and the meaning for theyoungnyc more - we all have passions, and it’s scary, and we’ll never have the time, but we have a responsibility to make shit happen.
Welcome to theyoungnyc, where we're hoping to inspire you to make shit happen.
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