Today we're excited to introduce the designer behind our Jackalope logo, and give you a peek into his style, process, and inspirations. Meet Jonny Blackburn!
How would you describe your style? Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
My works are a mixture and marriage of the all the mediums that I love. Blending the traditional technique where I’m mixing my own colors combining airbrushing and paint strokes capturing them digitally. Sometimes I will take a print and put that on canvas and layer it with random brushstrokes then reuse that random style in a digital medium. This makes for some extremely interesting mixtures and compositions. The coolest things come out that even I didn’t expect. My deigns combined photography, custom Photoshop brush design blending and implementing traditional painting, pop-art, mixed media and street art mediums that are transformed to create colorful, wild and vivid collage-style expressions.
Artists/Designers that inspire me: Blek le rat / Miss Van / Kubiki / Kris Kuksi / Jeff Soto / Todd Schorr / Mark Ryden / WOHA Archetects / Mr. Bungle / Tom Waits
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
With my art tending to lend itself to a menagerie of "collage-esque" stylings that can be somewhat abstract, There is a method to my madness that is seemingly my own. One which uses many facets of development to create a final piece such as: the fluids used to mix certain paints and inks (Water from the San fransisco bay/ rain water / glues / beer & liquor to name a few) - I sometimes use these elements into physical paintings alone... or will airbrush/splatter them to photograph them for digital application into my works along with other mixed media stylings. I really don't like to think to much about the process.. thinking is too self-aware.. I like to be somewhere in between the "real self/unconscious" and some formulaic active thought.
What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist?
Other than Open Competitions, I can't say just where challenge has been a huge struggle art-wise. Challenge is what it takes to put a smile on everyday amidst all kinds of adversity. Challenge is life. Challenge should be a normal instinct that pushes you forward to create and be diverse without questioning how "hard" things may be.
As for competitive entries/ judged galleries.. winning or being noticed is usually what the judges art preferences are in the "mixed Media" category. Most people tend to not fully see or want to read long descriptors in how a piece was made, or the 100's of different elements are created... what medium was used, how it was applied.. and so on.
Am I commercial artist? What’s mixed media? I really enjoy fitting snugly in this gray area undefined.. or help create a new idea of what "mixed media is... and can be" Some mystery is always notable.
What do you wish you knew about mixed media before you got started?
Since the name alone.. "Mixed Media' sounds so ambiguous, processing my feelings for the category is like making love with a meat-grinder... or watching a plumber work in a tutu.. i just doesn't work for me. I had hoped if any that I would have known it's much more than a few words. It's more like Heavy Experimental Trans-formative stylized thoughts in some beautifully arranged vision held in time. *Heavy Laughter!
What sort of things inspire you? Where do you look for inspiration?
Microcosms. Asymmetry. My wife Brianna and my neurotically excitable pooch Darla "Peanut" Blackburn. Things that push the boundaries in what the art world wants to pigeonhole or categorize. Wild and exotic things, Vivid Color & Expression. Music. Laughter. That perfect dusk atmosphere right before the sun will set. The Avant Garde. I enjoy rule-breaking the conventional art barriers. Never compromise yourself. Find your own path and explore down the rabbit hole.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
Color, or lack of thereof.. Nothing specifically has to be form-fitting. Act as if your work can reflect the sound of your synapses firing... as if under some serious miss-fire. Like fusion-Jazz on an acid trip. Sometimes, it's just as good as the sound of silence holding your breath underwater near a waterfall.
When do you feel the most creative?
No distraction, complete isolation, Whiskey and quite possibly listening to Tomahawk's - Anonymous Album "Mescal Rite" "Song of Victory" or "Totem" :)
What is your creative process like?
With some formula at first (Ideas to start a base/form to build off of)... then a decent into abstract madness, followed by bout's of laughter and disbelief. Paint will fly, photos will be taken, but the revolution will not be televised indefinitely.