Born on the small island of Malta where I still reside, my childhood was spent drawing cartoons and fantasy creatures mainly on my parents' house walls. After attending art classes from a very young age, I completed a 5 Year Fine Arts Diploma at the Malta School of Arts, from which I hold a Diploma with Distinction. My thesis was on Fantasy Art and it was a first for this school for someone who made the thesis on this subject.
After participating in various collective exhibitions, I held my first solo exhibition titled ‘Immagina’ at St James Cavalier in Valletta, Malta in 2006. All the 36 artworks had a connection with the Maltese history or folklore, but obviously they had my interpretation. This was the first Fantasy Art related exhibition in Malta and so it was a bit of stepping in the dark not knowing how the Maltese general public will react to this kind of art. I must say that it was well received and reviewed. My second fantasy art related solo exhibition was called HOTEL BABAW and was held between the 28th Oct and 20th Nov 2016, at Splendid, Valletta, Malta. The 25 artworks, oils and acrylics on canvas portrayed creatures and beliefs that we find in Maltese folklore that especially in times gone by used to spread fear with the local community. My third exhibition titled GRIM TALES was held between the 5th and 19th of July 2019, at Casino Notabile, Rabat, Malta. My mixed media artworks were about the dark origins of fairy tales.
I held a position of part-time lecturer in Character Design at the University of Malta, had the pleasure to co-organize locally workshops on character design and illustration, with a very well known established international artist and have participated as well in workshops abroad on this subject and on figure drawing.
Whenever I have the chance I still participate in Live Figure Drawing sessions because the path of an artist is never ending.
I am heavily involved in the Malta comic scene and used to form part of The Malta Comic Con organising team. I have self-produced and published three comic books so far, The Tsar written by Joseph P. Farrugia and two issues of Hal Mudlam, a horror comic book series, written and illustrated by myself.
I work both traditional and digital, experimenting with various traditional mediums as well because I believe that every medium has its own effect and feel to it and it all depends what effect I want to achieve in my artwork while keeping to deadlines.
Besides being a fantasy artist and illustrator, I am a senior graphic designer as well and if you are interested to see my graphic design work, please visit my other website: www.josephbugejadesign.weebly.com
All artworks in this website cannot be used or manipulated without a written consent by the artist.