Tuesday again already! Today our featured vendor is artist John Andrews of Doodlepalooza. He is a master personifier of animals (if you've seen his work you'll know what we mean). His work is always interesting and beautiful...and he's a nice fella to boot!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m a townie, pretty much. I was born in Corner Brook but we moved to St. John’s when I was very young.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: I spent 20 years working in graphic design/print production primarily in the book and newspaper industries. I love doing some contract work as a freelancer but I’m not interested in doing it full-time anymore. I guess what it boils down to is that I always felt I was working on other people’s projects: now it’s time for my own projects. My painting, printmaking, and embossing projects are finally off the back burner and have become my primary focus as I try to make my living as an artist and craftsperson.
Q: Who/what inspires you (in relation to your craft)?
A: I get inspired by seeing people who are excited about the things they are creating whether it’s art, craft, music, turkey dinners or fire pits. Peter Lewis’ transition from teacher to painter to gallery owner over a few short years is inspiring, professionally (plus I really like his work). Other local favourites are Gerry Squires and J.C. Roy. I’ve admired Bill Rose’s work for many years: I find both his style and subject matter very appealing. Some illustrators I’ve admired include Edward Gorey and Ralph Steadman (Gorey for his creepy whimsy and Steadman for his chaotic ink splashes). Also, my friend Mark Wood makes a mean fire pit and an even meaner fire.
Q: What is your favourite part of your craft/process? What takes the longest?
A: I guess my favourite is that point in the piece where you realize, “Hey! This crazy idea might just work!” Exciting stuff. Making something from nothing is extremely satisfying. Though I have to say I’m really enjoying interacting with people at the markets who are engaged with the things that I make. As an introvert, it can be overwhelming but it’s definitely growing on me.
Starting a painting is usually a lengthy, agonizing process for me. The ideas are in my head, usually for weeks or months… they simply won’t go away until I make the damn thing. But that first scratch on a blank canvas can be intimidating and therefore slow to get underway. I’ll often place the canvas on the easel, sit back at the woodstove, have a smoke and stare at it, going through the details I’d been thinking about for a long time. When the smoke is finished, I’ll take the canvas and put away out of sight… too overwhelmed to begin. But once that first mark gets made, look out! I get lost in it for hours at a time.
Q: What do you think craft means to NL?
A: Art and craft are essential components of out history and culture. They can highlight the essence and character of a people in a way that an archive cannot (no offense, archivists, you’re important too… just in a different way).
Q: Words to live by?
A: “Change is good!” I used to swear “change was bad” but in my heart I knew that wasn’t true. Making a major change (quitting my day job for example) has led to one of the most interesting and engaging years of my life.
Q: Do you own any pets? What kind and what are their names?
A: We own two fat cats named Willow and Xander. (Yes, they are named after Buffy characters.)
Q: What is your favourite food?
A: Job to say. Used to be pizza but we’re not really into junk food like we were. I make a mean plate of nachos every Friday night and a batch of homemade hamburgers every few weeks. The markets are great for discovering new foods. Last week I found a Thai salad that I’ll be looking for again.
If you want to see more of John's work find him here:
John can also be found at Some Good Market occasionally and other events in and around the city. Keep an eye out for his work...you'll never know when you might see a piece!