Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Colin Johnson- Interview

Full Name -
Colin Andrew Buckminster Howard Johnson
Nicknames - Chauncey, Bruiser, Champ, Sport, Bucko, Grover, Homeslice, Snoop, Snoopy, etc...
Location - St. Paul, Minnesota
URLS - www.colinjohnsonillustration.com, www.flickr.com/photos/colinjohnson/, www.illoz.com/mossgreenafterglow/, www.illogator.com/colinjohnson/
How did you get started doing art?
When I was very young I accidentally tripped and stumbled into a performance art exhibition.

Describe your process.
I load up a paintbrush with paint and spin around like a combination of whirling dervish meets Wonder Woman until something magical happens.

Tools of the trade?
Paintbrush, paint, metal, scraping objects such as silverware, q-tips, garbage, paper, fabric, pencils, chewing gum, tin foil, erasers, cheese, x-acto knife, ninjas, cutting board, ham, paper towels, mustard, palette, palette knife, butter, tracing paper, wood, canvas, bristol board, pens, plastic containers, lamps, toys, a casio keyboard, scissors, note pads, sketchbooks, and clam chowder (New England style).

How would you explain your art or categorize it?
I would call it Neo Surrealist Low-ish Highbrow Gothic Pop Art Naturalism. In other words, I really have no idea. I usually leave that up to others.

What products, prints, books etc do you have coming out this year or are out?
Well, I have prints currently available through Thumbtack Press, various kinds of cool products currently available through Gelaskins, and a great customized "bag" project coming out in January of 2009 through a company in Massachusetts. They took my "Flotsam & Jetsam" collage piece and somehow wrapped it around all sides of this nice machine stitched re-usable bag. The kind of bag that you can take to the grocery store and use again and again in lieu of using paper or plastic bags. Very environmentally friendly. It also makes a great gift bag. Or, you can cut some eyeholes in it and stick it on your head as a colorful Halloween costume. You know, be creative!

What inspires you?
Genuinely sincere artists who are completely dedicated to their craft, my parents, and Zorro.

Any words of wisdom for young artist?
Do it as long as you love it. If you don't love it, do something else for awhile. Only do it professionally if you're dedicated to a long road of hard work and perseverance for promoting your work. Send me a free painting! Eat your vegetables.

What is one thing every artist should do in your opinion to become a better artist?
Draw constantly. Milk a cow. Whoops, that's two things. Well... just choose one!

What is your favorite piece of art work that you wished you had done?
Never really thought about it. First thing that comes to mind would probably be the "Garden of Earthly Delights" triptych by Hieronymus Bosch. Or maybe a $90 million dollar diamond studded skull. There's nothing that says art like a diamond studded skull!!

Favorite bands?
Recently listening to: Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, Swans, Hank Penny, The Tinklers, Wanda Jackson, Polvo, Barry Adamson, Johnny Horton, Illyah Kuryahkin, Roosevelt Sykes, Legendary Pink Dots, Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, Fred Frith, Grace Braun, The Skillet Lickers, Henry Cowell, Roy Harvey, Odetta, Edith Frost, Rodan, Michael Hoenig, Jackson Do Pandeiro, Bill Martin, Ma Rainey, & Raymond Scott.

Favorite artists?
Too many to name. Lately, I'm really inspired by looking at patterns in various textile books that I own. I'm also just really inspired by looking at nature related stuff whenever I take my doggie for a walk. Bugs are awesome!

Favorite thing to do when you aren't doing art?
I'm a professional actor. What? You didn't know? I also collect hummels.

Favorite books, magazines, blogs....?
Well, "The Lumper" is of course the greatest blog of all-time!! And I'll be forced to kung fu fight anyone who says otherwise! I'm also diggin' Hi Fructose magazine and I'm currently reading a biography about P.T. Barnum.

What do you have coming up, projects, shows, etc?
I'm part of an upcoming show in Baltimore in November. Here are the details:

DEFINITION GALLERY, BALTIMORE, MD. A group show featuring artists: Dan May, Jason Limon, Michael Page, Benji Williams, Martin Wittfooth, Andy Kehoe, Benjamin Lacombe, Chris Ryniak & Colin Johnson. November 7, 2008. www.definitiongallery.com

And I'm also a part of three upcoming published book projects. One with Gestalten Publishing for a book called, "The Upset" which will be released in October, 2008. You can see details for that one here. And I'll also be a part of one called Creative USA which is a nice 500 page oversized hardcover book, and another being published by LOOKdeBOOK. But I'm not sure exactly when those two are scheduled for release so stay tuned to my Flickr page for upcoming details...

Thanks Colin!


Lau said...

He is such a great artist... I follow him throught flickr all the time..
Thanks colin for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

You are magnificent Artist. I myself 'try' to paint with words in ony a fraction of the manner that you blend your hues. thewalkerofthewinds.blogspot.com It's only been up about a month, but 13 pieces of the tale, Fantasy genre to choose from.