Introducing Illustrator Joel Strauss, my co-creator of the 1920s Coloring Book


Joel Strauss is my eldest son, oldest child of four. He's always been a consummate artist especially with music, and most recently he's jumped into visual art using watercolor as his medium. We're starting a store called Vintage Is You where we'll sell apparel and home decor featuring his vintage-themed artwork. The store isn't live yet but you can leave your email at VintageIsYou.com to be sure to be notified when it is. We've been really busy with the 1920s Coloring Book and now that its release day is almost here, we're going to focus on the store.

Speaking of the coloring book, don't miss the contest where you can win a copy, a package of colored pencils, and a print of Joel's art!


It's been a pleasure working with my son on these projects. You might know him as my assistant Joel Matthew on Facebook. I love that we can work together as see our vision for art and books come together.

This is from a Vintage Is You blog written by Joel:

It all started with Frank 

It didn’t strike me as ‘music for your grandparents’ 

I still remember hearing ‘Strangers In the Night’ for the first time. I was barely 20, and up to that point almost all the music I ingested was contemporary Indie and Alternative Rock. (Oh, and Bob Dylan)

Another student let me listen to her playlist. Then I heard that booming voice in ‘Strangerrrrs In the Niggght’ and I was stopped cold in my tracks. A profound projection of old jazz vocal. Blue notes

There was something old about it, sure, but it didn’t strike me as ‘music for your grandparents.’ It sounded both old and new at once, as if I could experience history in the here-and-now. A time where automobiles were still new, where people spent more time outside, where branded clothing hadn’t yet permeated all of fashion, where music emphasized love and romance. 

Whatever it was, I knew that I wanted a piece of it. Maybe I could bring someone of it with me wherever I went. 

This was the first big step into my fascination with 20th Century Vintage. I’ve been a musician my whole life, and music is what opened the gates. I began to incorporate classic pop elements into my own songs and albums. 

Years later, when I became a visual artist, filling the canvas with these types of motifs was just as exciting. Suddenly, I could allow people experience this world with their eyes too, instead of just their ears. The positive feedback on my visual art has surprised me, and it strongly suggests that there is a community of others to meet and connect with who get just as inspired by nostalgia as I do. 

Hey – maybe history doesn’t have to be something that happened 3 generations ago… 

Thanks for being on this journey with me! 

Visit Joel at joelstrauss.com/art

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Add Your Reply

Join Lee's Newsletter. Get Vip Access to Ginger's Journal.