John Perry (US)

John Perry (US)

For some reasons, this interview should have been online a lot earlier than now, and I would like to apologize to John for the time it tooks. But well, is it really so important, finally John's work is now showed here and people will know and see this is well deserved ! So thanx John, hope you are still alive after all that time :)

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
I always have the Wedding Present in rotation, but I've been listening to the Pharcyde lately along with CIV

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm just a guy that enjoys making art, the goal is to just keep getting better. I'm from upstate NY in Rochester, or as I refer to it...Rottenchester. I draw and paint, go to work, play with the kids...pretty mellow existence

When did you start drawing?
I guess I've always drawn, but really getting into drawing... I'd have to say 7th / 8th grade

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks? 

I started by doing graffiti way back in the day. That's how I learned characters, colors, letters etc. Then I took a couple of classes in high school and went to college and did the whole B.F.A. in painting thing.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ? 

I teach art to 4th -6th graders to pull in the dough...can you make a living doing art?

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly? 


Where does your influence come from? 

Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences? It's a big huge pile of influences...graffiti art, comicbooks, painters. In terms of posters my first major influence was Derek Hess, in fact half of my house is covered in Derek Hess posters. The other influence was Frank Kozik. Kozik being the bigger artistic influence...we all owe that dude a debt of gratitude for reviving the whole poster movement. No Frank, most likely no us. I dig a ton of artists though um...Phil Hale, Ashley Wood, Sebastian Krueger, Scrojo, Dan Springer, Daniel Danger, Creature Box, Banksy, I could make this list run for days.

What are the principal steps in your work ? 

Get a band or venue to contact me and give me like 2-3 days to have everything done...freak out, coffee, stress, late nights, lack of sleep, and poster finished.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer? 

All the illustration is drawn by hand, inked with micron pens, scanned and colored in photoshop.

How long does it take you to do a poster? 

Some are a few hours, others are a few days. The delay is always waiting on the inspiration.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ? Um, yeah there's no possible way I'm painting horses in water. I don't charge, maybe $20 so I can get some more paper or pens. I did a majority of my posters for friends bands and I wanted to give them something that stood out, wanted to help them along. There's been venues that I've worked with over the years, but there's always been an unspoken understanding where as I'm going to draw you something up and make it look nice but just trust me. That doesn't mean that they have no say, I always try to work with someone if they've got an idea, but if it's too narrow an idea and too structured and specific, I usually can't get into it. Most of the people that I do stuff for, know what I do and pretty much let me do my thing. That's the fun part of the whole gig is working with a new band, listening to some of their stuff and cranking out an image that works for the band.   

For which band have you already worked for? 

 I've done posters for The Dwarves, Groovie Ghoulies, Electric Frankenstein, Frank Black, Henry Rollins, Agent Orange, mostly locals though...

For which band would you love to work? 

Dropkicks would be fun...The Wedding Present

Do you choose the artists yourself? 

Not really...occasionally a band is coming through and I'll try to make the contact to get the poster, but a majority of the time it's a venue or an opening band contacting me.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ? 

Getting the main idea set and ready to go. Once I know what I'm making it's usually pretty smooth sailing. Figuring out what to do can get stressful though, especially with quick turn arounds. I don't want to just throw something together, I want it to be a really solid poster

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ? 

No. I don't really do posters much anymore. I have a few friends that still play so I crank out a few here or there, but I've never really been in the poster scene. I used to hang on quite a bit. There's definitely a community for poster artists and resources, connections, advice to be had there. If you want to know what makes a good poster, go rifle through the posters, look for Scrojo, Angry Blue, Daniel Danger, Ames Bros. etc. Those guys are the graphic scene. It's inspirational, you should take a look around that site.

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life? 

I do a lot of painting now. I love black and white photo realism so that's what I concentrate on now. You can check out some of my work here:  I been in a few group shows in New York and L.A. just trying to get some stuff out there. It's better out there than just lying in my basement.

The best praise you received lately? 

I son laughed at a funny chalk drawing I did in our kitchen, he's 4, so I'll take that as praise!

What can we wish you for the future? 

I just want to get better at painting. The more you do it the more you learn. Hopefully I can send a few of these painting out into the world, but if not i'll just keep plugging away.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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