Did you miss our interviews? Today you’ll be able to read my chat with @johndrawing!
This incredibly talented artist and watercolor illustrator is capable of creating scenes and characers that will completely blew your mind: delicate, cute, so detailed and technically perfectly done, you might even question if they’re real or not.
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to talk to him about his art and background, and so much happy to be able to share it with you here.
Well, enought from my side.. enjoy!
What attracted you to the world of illustration? How did you start your journey as an illustrator?
I grew up reading/watching tons of media. I loved manga, anime, cartoons, comics, picture books– anything that could offer me a strange story with weird characters! I gained an interest in kindergarten when I would draw ghostbusters with some friends and it stuck as something I was passionate about. I didn’t start learning academically until around college though!
Why did you choose to work with a kind of illustration closer to the fantasy and childish world?
When I was an illustration major in college, my twin baby cousins were born. I was also watching another set of newborn twins and would often read both sets of twins picture books. I would read them so many picture books that it felt like a merging of my two worlds at the time!
Watercolors make it possible to create soft and delicate strokes, and you, thanks to the colors you use, make your illustrations welcoming and sweet! How would you define your style? How much and how did you work to achieve something that satisfied you and that you felt more like yours?
Thank you for the kind words! I’d say that what I do is mainly illustrative work created using watercolor and linework.
In addition to what I post online I love to experiment with other mediums. Being in art school was helpful that it forced me to try different mediums and break out of my comfort zone. I think that I was able to take more ownership in the illustrations I was making when I started including more of my interests/personality in my stuff (instead of trying to draw or paint in a way that I felt I had to!)
I love the mood of your characters! They appear to be good-natured and calm. Can this be linked to your personal character? Do you think you reflect yourself in your art?
Thank you! I think my friends and family would be better at answering that for me– but I will say that a lot of the weirdness in my characters certainly comes from me. 🙂
In a world now invaded by digital art, what does a traditional artist like you think about it? Have you ever tried to approach this world different from yours?
I love digital art! It’s always fun to play around with digital painting– It’s flexibility makes it especially fun to experiment/play with. It’s also fun to combine both worlds! Sometimes I’ll pop a watercolor illustration into photoshop and push and pull certain aspects of it. Both tools are incredibly valuable to me.
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Did you have any academic training? Or are you self-taught?
Yes! I have a BFA in Illustration.
Which tools do you prefer? What tools do you feel you can recommend for those who are inspired by you and intend to start?
I personally love painting on hot pressed paper because it allows me to do a lot of cross hatching/linework on top of watercolor washes. I usually recommend using a wide variety of sizes for brushes for bigger washes or details. For sketching I really love to use cheaper paper because I feel less pressure/more freedom to try stuff out.
What role did social media play in your career and art? Do you think they are also inspiring to you or are they just a means to show your works?
I find it to be very motivating. It’s cool to see what other people are creating and it can be very inspiring to follow their journeys.
Is there one of your works that you particularly like?
I had a lot of fun painting this strange elf with a mushroom hat. I love using purples and earthy colors. 🙂
What do you like about making biomechanical works, combining naturalistic elements with mechanical components?
I think it’s relaxing to slowly build up details/complexity from simple shapes. Drawing scifi is a perfect excuse to cross hatching and layer on details!
Do you have other interests besides art?
My schedule has been pretty packed with illustration lately, but when I do have some down time I’ve been enjoying video games, reading manga or spending time with family.
Thank you for reading! And thank you SO MUCH John for giving me the opportunity to chat with you about your amazing art!
What do you think about John’s illustrations? Aren’t they cute af? 🥺
Leave a comment dropping your opinion!
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