Marc Johns’ illustrations are, and I’m not afraid to say it because it’s completely true, the best. I adore them so much that I ordered a signed 8×10 of Marc Johns’ Orange Reading David Foster Wallace (pictured after the break below) and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. If you’re looking for art that makes you giggle and feel inspired and possibly revives the flame of creativity inside you that is slowly flickering out, Marc Johns is the way to go.
I read Marc Johns’ about me page on his website recently. There he elaborated on the process behind what goes into developing the ideas for his illustrations, “I like to create absurd situations, by combining things together that don’t belong, or imagine what inanimate objects would say if they could speak. For instance, the pen I’m using to write this draft would probably say ‘I’m tired, can we stop for a bit?’ or perhaps it would say, ‘I can’t believe you’re making me write this rubbish. Signing cheques would be more inspiring than this.'”. It’s the simplest form of brilliance. He takes these very basic, almost child-like thoughts and puts them with wonderfully quirky illustrations, and together they create this enchantingly convivial scene with very minimal artwork. He says of this minimalistic approach, “I generally aim to say as much as possible with as few elements as possible. My work often leans toward humour. Finding the humour in things often leads to finding the truth”.
In an interview with Rebecca Silver’s 10 Answers, Johns gives advice to aspiring artists/people in general, simply saying to be yourself. “Your uniqueness is a thousand times more fascinating and valuable than your ability to conform”. This piece of advice really put a lot into perspective for me. All throughout college when I was going through the process of getting my art degree, I felt like I was being forced to conform and fit a certain mold the department was trying to form me into. I wanted to explore other venues and experiment with different methods and explore my interpretations of art. During my tenure at college, only two professors really allowed their students to discover their unique voice and style. Because of this oppression, I’ve had a hard time rediscovering my creative. I became so discouraged and bitter towards my art in college that it’s carried over into my professional life. I’ve abandoned the idea of becoming a full-time designer and am now back in school pursuing a secondary education degree so I can teach English to high schoolers. This is where I am now. I’ve not completely accepted it, but it’s the path I’m taking. I’m excited about teaching english, I’ve always, always, always loved it, but I feel like I’m abandoning my dream of becoming a successful designer. I know I can continue to create and freelance on the side, that’s the beauty of being an artist. Seeing Marc Johns artwork is a huge inspiration for me and I feel like after looking at his Pinterest for hours on end I have a budding creative burst that will explode soon. So, thank you, Marc Johns for waking the creativity in a melancholy and meek artist who thought she had lost the ability to create.
Marc Johns is based in Victoria, BC, Canada.
He has an excellent Pinterest that you can follow.
He also tweets.
If you want to buy some Marc Johns prints or books or other things, you can do that here.
Of course, if all else fails, just like him on Facebook.