I have 10 days to find a talented, driven artist a job. Can you help?

Galleries and potential employers

You can contact Joseph directly through his contact form, or contact me through mine.

The story

In 10 days, an amazingly talented artist and friend, Joseph Cowman, will be forced to choose between a full time position building false teeth factory-style for the financial security it will bring has family OR possibly lose his current part-time position, straining his family but opening up the possibility of spending more time on creative work.

I think there's a third choice, but it will require a grassroots effort to make happen. I'm certain that there are positions available out there that will allow someone as skilled as Joseph to practice art and be creative but still earn a good livelihood. So, I'm tapping into my network and cashing in favors to see if I can find Joseph a job where he can really flex his skills.

If you want to learn a bit more about Joseph, keep reading. Or, you could jump straight to how you can help. This a grassroots effort, and there's something YOU can do!


A few examples of Joseph Cowman's work

A referral

Joseph is probably the most capable person I know, and I think the only two reasons he hasn't landed a fulfilling position is that 1) he lives in a small town, which makes networking in the art world difficult and time-consuming and 2) between work, family, and practicing his art, doesn't have much time to get his work out there. For years I (and most people who know Joseph) have felt like there's this huge talent going to waste, like the world is just a little lamer because Joseph is building teeth instead of really pushing the boundaries of what he can do.

Anyone who has ever hired Joseph has loved working with him, and from knowing him on a personal level, I can understand why. In addition to being able to pick up anything, figure it out and then push it beyond what most people would, he's incredibly patient and empathetic, making him sensitive to other people and what they need. It's an interesting combination, one I don't run across very often.

The dream job

After talking with Joseph for a bit to figure out what kind of position he's looking for, he said anything that would be artistically challenging that has good variation. He said doing character work or design for games would be perfect, and he's also capable of working in a variety of styles. The bottom line is that he wants to leverage his work time to help hone his craft and improve his skills as an artist. Challenge and variety are key.

Joseph has been building false teeth for the last 7 years, and I anticipate him really exploding into whatever work that he takes on next. If it's artistic, he's going to do a fantastic job because he'll be so enthusiastic about it.

How YOU can help

Here's what you can do to help:

  1. Follow the campaign on Twitter
  2. If you know of any job opportunities along these lines, send them to me or directly to Joseph through his web site.
  3. Pass this story on to anyone you know who might be able to help with this effort. Anyone in any art-related industry, artists, empathetic people, sneezers, anyone. This is grassroots, and every root counts.
  4. Tweet about the campaign, and re-tweet!
  5. Give us any ideas you have on how we can improve the campaign, techniques we can use, tactics we can exploit
  6. Add the image countdown code to pull in the countdown box you see below to your web site, MySpace or Facebook page.
  7. Add comments to this post about interesting things that you know Joseph has done, any praise, whatever. If you take a look at his art and like it, mention it.
  8. Refer us to any artists you know who might have ideas on how to break into the biz
  9. Add a small amount to the Save Joseph Bounty that will be be awarded to the individual that provides the lead that lands Joseph a job

The Save Joseph countdown box 

To add the countdown image below to your web site, use the following code:

<a href="http://savejoseph.org"><img id="save_joseph" title="" alt="" src="http://josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/sites/josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/files/imagecache/save_joseph_box/sites/josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/themes/jc/images/save-joseph.png"></a>

<script type="text/javascript">document.getElementById("save_joseph").src = document.getElementById("save_joseph").src + "?unique=" + new Date().valueOf();</script>

Note that even though the image will work in sites like Facebook and MySpace, the little script that's added to it which refreshes the image regularly to reflect the countdown change won't work. In those cases, you can use the static image which doesn't use a countdown:

<a href="http://savejoseph.org"><img id="save_joseph" title="" alt="" src="http://josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/sites/josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/themes/jc/images/save-joseph-static.png"></a>

Some of the interesting things Joseph has done outside of fine art.

Joseph has focused a lot on his artwork the last several years, but his creative prowess extends in a lot of other directions. He's the kind of guy I am always telling other people about because the interesting things he's done. I'd like to get these a lot more coverage, and I'll add pictures as I get them, but here are just a few of the ones that have impressed me the most:

  • When I met Joseph, he was 17. One of the first things he did was show me a fully functioning robotic arm he had built entirely out of scrap wood, hypodermic needles and IV tubing. No metal, no batteries, the whole thing ran off of the hydraulic pressure between two needs hooked up with the tubing. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.
  • The next thing he showed me was a robotic hand, complete with 3 fingers and an opposable thumb, that connected to a glove you could put on your own hand to move the robot hand. It used bike cables as tendons. It was made out of a box of old random parts that his family had laying around. Also one of the coolest things I've seen.
  • Then, he showed me a graphics program he had programmed on his computer in order to create graphics for a video game he wanted to make. It was more functional than any of the graphics-oritented programs I had on my computer.
  • He built a series of didgeridoos out of driftwood with awesome artwork around it. He had to use a drill to hollow out the entire thing, using old tools. They're the prettiest didges I've ever seen.
  • Back in the day when cool looking Oakley sunglasses were beyond his ability to purchase, he and a friend made their own pairs from thick aluminum sheet metal and cut their own lenses. At the time, they were really impressive.
  • Every Halloween Joseph puts together a stellar costume. Stuff that could win prizes. Last year he built a realistic ogre head out of cardboard and vinyl. The year before, he built a costume that made him look like he was riding a dinosaur. It was really effective.
  • Joseph and his wife completely renovated their entire home. When you walk through the house you can see the creative touch, and it looks beautiful.

Art inspired by the Save Joseph campaign

Save Joseph 

by TheFinalHikari

A man of great talent
Creativity abound
The kind heart of a father
The spirit of a dear friend
The mind and skill of an artist
Seeking new opportunity

Dreams and aspirations
Decorate every canvas of life

Skillful and trained hands
An eye for perfection

Please do not depart
Before you have seen it all
For every picture tells a story
A flowing rhapsody of inspiration
Communicating wordlessly
Feelings from you to me
Captured in the eternal beauty of art

Every single helping hand
Is welcomed to reach out

The choice is now yours
The request is simple
He needs your help, whatever you can do
Help him build a new future
To enrich the world with art

Within every masterful piece of art
There is a world to witness
They say a picture is worth one thousand words
But his art is clearly worth so much more

The choice is left to you
And until then,
We shall pray
“Save Joseph…”



Danger Will Robinson! http://josephcowman.com/ is down.

Thanks for the SOS! I just moved the site to a new host so there could be a delay before it's available. You can view the site on the temporary domain here until then. I also switched all the links in the post.


Some of the larger agencies in the valley post openings here. http://www.idahoadagencies.com/jobs-and-talent/posted-jobs/

Awesome, thanks Andy!

Wow! Chris, this is a positive endeavor that I support! Came across this article from the Drupal.org main page... His art style looks perfect for games, here are a couple websites that should help with the search:




I look forward to seeing his art in the games I play =)

Hey, thanks Nicholas! I will pass those links on.

Joseph is unusually, sincerely and hugely talented. The world just needs a way to become aware of him and his art. He's the real deal. AND a warm, creative genuine loving real person to boot! EVERYONE: TAKE A LOOK!!!!

In both codes, the first anchor tag is missing its closing angle bracket.

For instance the second one needs to become:

<a href="http://savejoseph.org"><img id="save_joseph" title="" alt="" src="http://josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/sites/josephcowman.impliedbydesign.com/themes/jc/images/save-joseph-static.png"></a>

(And the JavaScript Preview button is working, so i'm not sure my "code" tags will work here, but you'll see in the provided image codes.)

By George, you're right! Thanks for the tip, the updated code should be available in the next few minutes.


Hows about a resume? Maybe even a description of the type of job he wants.

That's a really good idea, and I've kind of been thinking along those lines over the last day or so. I hate doing resumes so I hate suggesting them to people, but if you're looking for employment with people who don't really know you, it seems like it can be a big factor.

Thanks Jon!

Hi Chris -- Wish I knew of a lead on a job, this is a worthy campaign! Has he tried any self-study courses on marketing? I came across some fabulous resources at ittybiz.com, and they have one specifically for artists! Here: http://ittybiz.com/free-marketing-courses/ and scroll down to "Marketing for Designers and Other Artsy Fartsy Types." This may sound weird, but I have only heard and read good things about Naomi's work.

Awesome, thanks for the tip, I will check that out myself and pass it on. Cheers!

Very cool of you Chris to do this for you friend. You rule!

Thanks, Glen! I was hoping to borrow your brain for some promotional pointers as some point. If anything comes to mind, please let me know!


Hey chris: what about a full page "save joseph" ad in the Carmel Minecone? most carmelites read the rag religiously, and there's hundreds (literally) of art dealers in the area. Something to catch attention (Save Joseph in big font with a choice piece or his art....description of the campaign, etc...). ??? Call me, huh? If you guys designed it I'd get it to them.....

Hi Suzy, you're awesome!

I imagine a full-page ad would be pretty spendy, but just in case you want to go through with that, I've put together a full-page add with a simple black background that can be flexible for a different page size. The post has a ZIP file download of a Photoshop file that most publications should be able to use: http://chrisshattuck.com/blog/save-joseph-campaign-full-page-ad. I wasn't able to spend too much time on it, so if you post it, feel free to request any adjustments you think might be best directed to the audience down there (you know them better than I ;) ).


Let me know if you need anything else!

also: i would happily walk the beat of carmel streets going door to door, but i'd need nice quality prints to show...can you guys scare up some and get them to me quickly?? chris i'm so glad you're doing this. I wanted to do something, but needed the energy of another person's enthusiasm to get me going. please let me know ANYTHING else I can do, ok????

Again, I reiterate how awesome you are.

I've sent a message to Joseph to see if he can hook you up with some prints. You've been a great help, thank you!

I am quite sure you have considered, and probably abandoned the idea of using Facebook.

But, actually Facebook is like a gigantic showcase where people can share common interests and find alikes, thus promoting your friend's art to a targeted audience while keep a link back to http://josephcowman.com/ or put a watermark on each pictures will get Joseph's art a large audience.

Probably create a Facebook page will attracts many fans. You don't even have to create a personal account there if you don't want to.

Just my 2 cents, 'tho.

And thank you for the great drupal tutorials. I would probably need them someday.

(not advocating for Facebook, a bit resented by it, yet value it's potential)

That's a great idea, and one that was on my list but never quite got implemented during the campaign. Thanks!

By the way, love your web site domain. That's one of the longest ones I've ever seen.


oh, I just noted that you have your own Facebook profile. That'll be easier to create a fanpage for Joseph, or his arts, then.

This art is fantastic! How awesome would it look in an international thriller? http://www.johnboydbooks.com/