Meet Joshua Vides, Renowned Monochromatic Latino Artist

Joshua Vides BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Rob Longert/Day One Agency.

Joshua Vides carries a white notebook wherever he goes and draws every day of his life. The Guatemalan-American artist believes it’s good to draw every day because every day is different.

Once a natural expression of his mood, his black and white strokes are now recognizable in campaigns worldwide.

For Vides, who never liked color, his influences are always present.

“My work is highly influenced by my heritage of being a first-generation Guatemalan and my roots growing up in Rialto, California,” the artist told BELatina. “It is also inspired by Takashi Murakami, who I used to develop products for when I worked as a merchandise manager for Complexcon.”

Joshua Vides Facebook 1 BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Rob Longert/Day One Agency.

A creative spirit

Joshua Vides is a first-generation Guatemalan, born and raised in Rialto, a low-income town in Southern California.

To avoid boredom, and although his parents downplayed the importance of artistic skills, for Vides, it came naturally.

“I remember always wanting to create and draw. I grew up loving to sketch, which turned into being obsessed with writing my name on walls. That then turned into becoming a graphic designer and laying designs on products,” he told us.

From an early age, Vides re-drew cartoons, which turned into skateboard graphics, often in black and white.

“I was never really into color, I would go directly into the dark stroke and bold line with a pencil, and it would take me forever to erase that line,” he remembers.

Matte Black BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Rob Longert/Day One Agency.

Urban space as a platform

Vides believes that everything starts with a sketch and “taking everything back to its origins,” so it’s no surprise that urban art and public spaces have been a prolific first platform.

“I think urban spaces are a great way to share and promote visual arts by bringing people together,” he told us while announcing the opening of his coffee shop called Matte Black, which will serve as a meeting place to share his art.

“It’s very important to preserve art spaces, especially for ethnic demographics, because it’s a great way of keeping their history alive by connecting with the past and teaching others about different ethnicities through visuals,” Vides explained.

A new opportunity

In addition to his coffee shop, Joshua Vides is now one of six artists featured with Messenger and Facebook Open arts, a project that highlights artists from underrepresented communities and celebrates creativity, diversity, and vitality in the arts.

“The program collaborates with artists from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives to invite new ways of thinking about ourselves, our communities, and the world at large,” Vides explained.

“I partnered with Messenger and Facebook Open Arts to create Messenger’s first-ever black and white immersive 360-backgrounds,” he concluded. “Creating this virtual experience with Messenger gives everyone the opportunity regardless of location to enjoy and experience my work in their hands.”