Joculare is a line of juggling-themed art created by Jason Horst, a graphic designer and juggler from Manheim, PA (USA). Jason was happy to answer a couple of questions about his background and how he went about choosing and creating the wonderful images of well-known jugglers that can be purchased in the form of posters and t-shirts.
David Cain: Please tell us a bit about your background in both juggling and graphic design.
Jason Horst: My life of juggling began with a purchase of the Klutz book in junior high. By 11th grade I started performing, and during my college years I started performing regularly. Then five years ago I got married. My wife’s parents were both clowns when she was young, and she caught the bug. She started performing as Cissy the Clown, getting training from NY Goofs. It didn’t take us long to figure out we should join forces. So for the past five years we’ve been performing as Cissy and The Man. The combination of juggler and clown has been a novelty. She’s learned a good bit of juggling and I’ve learned a lot about clowning in the process. We were fortunate to have a local filmmaker, Alexander Monelli, make a short documentary about us in 2014.
I have a degree in graphic design from Grace College. Since graduating, I worked for a publishing company, then an ad agency before launching my own one-man design business in 2005 called Piksl Design (piksl.com). The flexibility of self employment has allowed us to continue to perform regularly. The passion for design and juggling is what led to the creation of Joculare and this poster series.
David Cain: How did you get started with the project and choose the jugglers.
Jason Horst: Go to any juggling festival and you’ll see jugglers wearing t-shirts about juggling that are kitschy, funny, or based on a pun. Jugglers love that kind of thing and that’s great. It’s part of the culture. As a graphic designer and a juggler, I decided to combine my two loves and create a brand under which I could create and sell juggling-based artwork that was a bit more formal, while still being fun. My first serious effort was this series of posters featuring innovative jugglers, and there were three criteria I used to select the jugglers.
First, they must have been performing during the 20th century. I believe my oldest juggler is antipodist turned theater owner F. F. Proctor. The most recent juggler is Anthony Gatto.
The series was also based around the letters of the alphabet, as the last names begin with A through Z (I had to cheat on Q, U, and X). Practically, this was the biggest decider in who made the cut. It was fun researching and exploring the lives of some lesser-known characters.
Finally, I wanted each design to focus on a different prop or specialty. So for example, while I could have easily had the Albert Lucas design focus on rings, I already did a spotlight on rings with Ignatov. So instead the Lucas design is all about sport juggling.
Many of the posters contain details that tell a story. Look closely. My personal favorite designs are Bobby May, Francis Brunn, Albert Lucas, Paul Cinquevalli, and Enrico Rastelli.
Jason has done a very admirable job in researching the jugglers that he chose for the posters. Below is the compilation “Alphabet Of Innovative Jugglers” poster of all 26 jugglers followed by a few of the individual posters as well.
As a juggling historian, I have to say that Jason has done his research well in creating these images. Most of the images are available for sale in three different poster sizes and many are available on t-shirts as well. These products would make a wonderful gift for the upcoming holiday season. To see all of the products and to place any orders, please visit joculare.com.