– by Rachel H. Freeman
Josh “Bump” Galletta sips a glass of Florida Cracker and lifts his vintage briefcase onto the table at Buddy Brew in Hyde Park. Distressed leather covers the briefcase in cool, nostalgic style. While the car accident Bump was in eight years ago prevents him from carrying his work in a backpack, he doesn’t let it stop him from transporting his art in style.
Pulling out drawings from the briefcase, Bump smiles behind a full beard. Thick-rimmed glasses frame his face and tattoos peek out from under his shirt sleeves.
Bump is an independent artist and maker extraordinaire in Lakeland, FL. He specializes in minimalist illustrations.
“I love to create, put my own spin on things and tell stories through illustration,” Bump said.
His nickname came about during his camp days, when he participated in a prank that went wrong. “I would always run into someone from camp and they would say, ‘Hey, it’s Bump!’,” he recalled.
In August 2010, Bump’s life changed forever. While riding his bicycle, he was struck by a car.
“I suffered 28 broken bones, internal trauma and some head injuries.”
He went through surgeries as well as rehabilitation and counseling. To cope with the PTSD he developed, Bump was encouraged to try a therapeutic exercise that led to him hiding art around town.
“I would hide my art in coffee shops, bookstores, state parks, anywhere I went,” Bump said.
“People who found it would write me and say, ‘If I paid you, would you make something for me?’” Over several years, Bump was able to transition from therapy to full-time freelance illustrating.
“I love that I got a second chance in life,” said Bump. “Some amazing people helped me when my family and I were in a tough spot, so now is my time to give back.”
Originally from Georgia, Bump is a lover of the Southern lifestyle. He’s been living in Florida for over 20 years. “I love the beach, the palm trees, and not worrying about snow,” he said.
Bump has been drawing since he was a little kid. He enjoys exploring local markets and meeting new people at community events. An experienced market-goer, Bump has sold artwork in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Clearwater and Atlanta.
When he’s not in maker mode, Bump helps his wife, Mary, homeschool their children, Emmersyn and Fynn. Together, they play with their dog, Ellie. “After that, when everyone’s in bed, that’s my time to draw,” said Bump.
“I’ll draw all night, from 9 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m.”
Bump co-founded LKLD Creative Makers, a group of creatives, artists and makers that meets on the first Monday of each month to connect and inspire each other. Motivated by a conference in Memphis called Creative Works, Bump wanted to form a group that could learn from successful creatives while fostering a relaxed environment for people to ask questions and get artistic and technical advice.
“I wanted to have a baby version of that conference here in Lakeland. I asked my friends to help me start it, and we’ve been going strong for almost two years now,” Bump said.
Last November, Bump mentioned his interest in podcasts to his wife Mary. At Christmas, she gifted him a podcast microphone and encouraged him to give it a try. Now, Bump’s podcast, The Low Down with Bump, is in its second season.
“The theme is interviewing people who have great stories to tell,” said Bump. “We end with a challenge or motivation for the audience to do something amazing.”
Find Bump on Facebook!
Follow him on Instagram!
Commission him for: family, home, business, pet, or couples portraits!
Josh “Bump” Galletta is the illustrator behind the upcoming Market Mafia HIT LIST publication.