Josh Toan

About Me

"I like design, I like details, to me it is just another form of self-expression."
- John Malkovich

I have always had a passion for design and as I have gotten older and gained more experience I have began to train my eye to see how design fits into everyday life and how as designers we are able to craft experiences for people.
I am currently studying Interaction Design in the University of Ulster, Belfast, where I have gained a much greater appreciation for the world of design and learnt a lot about the history of design, finding inspiration and new role models around every corner.

When I’m not working you can usually find me in the cinema. I am a huge film fan and love nothing more than finding films that can further inspire my work. Quentin Tarantino and Stanley Kubrick are two directors whose films have greatly influenced my art style throughout the years.
Music is also a huge part of my life, despite having no rhythm to speak of and zero musical talent, however, I often use music as a main source of inspiration for my work.

I have also had a keen interest in Graphic Novels from a young age, Artists like Steve Ditko and Alex Ross have greatly influenced my style and inspired me from a young age to pick up a pencil and start putting my ideas on paper.


My Process

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
- Steve Jobs

When beginning a new project I always start out on paper. Starting out on paper is a super fast way to get ideas out of my head and in front of my eyes. Beginning my process here also helps me design freely, without adhering to the limitations of a piece of software, I can simply come up with an idea and then figure out how to make it work later. Another major benefit is that I can do this virtually anywhere, whether that means I am jotting down ideas in my sketchbook or on a coffee stained napkin in Starbucks, it is the easiest way to give myself and others a rough idea of how I want the finished product to look.

From here I begin to build upon the idea, still staying on paper, this may involve coming up with character designs or designing icons. If it is an app or website that I am designing I will often sketch out some rough wireframes to show how the user will progress through the final product. I usually stay on paper for a good chunk of the design process before moving over to the screen!

Once I do make the transition over to the screen, I often begin by creating digital wireframes to help give an even more detailed overview of how the project will be laid out. From here I can start creating digital versions of the assets for the project, such as buttons and custom icons. If it is an illustration that I am working on this is where I will begin to digitally recreate my sketches, only much cleaner and in much more detail.

Finally I begin to make the thing, from here I have to work out how to get around any technical limitations and find the best way bring my designs to life, without compromising what makes them special!


"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."
- Charles Eames


"Our most intimate contact with civilizations long since dust has been through the art which has survived them."
- Carlisle Floyd