Well I know, everytime I introduce a greek artist on the site, I am obliged to say that, contrary to what Standart and Poors or IMF may think, Greece is full of talents and creativity and blah blah blah, always the same story. But what can I do, at a time where the whole (at least financial) world seems to spend its whole time giving Greece bad press, I am proud, and will always be, to highlight talented guys like Johnny !
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
You ‘ll probably listen to some post punk, darkwave, indie, garage, r’n’r, punk or similar tunes, if my loudy neighbours’ greek folk rarities won’t
catch you up.
catch you up.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
Here comes Johnny from Athens, Greece. Sometimes dressed as a self-taught freelance illustrator and graphic designer, other times as a neurotic waiter or as an annoying dj and web radio producer.
When did you start drawing?
I guess, when I discovered some pencils’ side effects (apart from sticking them up a nose). Using them to rewind cassettes came later as an equally interesting discovery.
I still take courses in improving my drawings in the margins of my books :P
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
The general situation and mainstream attitude here in Greece, never really helped an artist to live from his/her work, even before all that economic crisis bomb. However, if you work mainly for the underground scene and keep up your punk attitude up, you ‘ve already chosen your way. I care mainly for quality works, establishing some nice communication but of course, being friendly or whatever doesn’t mean that I tolerate exploitation in any aspect (although, I tend to be unsuccessful with that sometimes). I’ve done many jobs in the past but that period, I’m working as a support waiter and sometimes as a dj.
Fanzines and underground press were in fact the first artistic field to expose my work. I really enjoy self-publishing stuff (so far, it was “Negro” and “Negligent Romantix”), collaborating with other zines and search for some underground goodies.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
It comes from waters… Ok, that happens sometimes, for any other: I am influenced by many artists and suitable-for-my-taste works that I’ve already checked out or lately discovered. I used to be almost dedicated to (let’s say) punk oriented artwork in the past so, the majority of my influences used to come mainly from the artwork of European or American diy punk scenes. I am a huge appreciator of many garage, r’n’r and surf bands gig poster aesthetics as well plus, I find inspiration in high quality works related to the indie rock scene. So, everything seems to come as a combination of sounds and graphics in a dynamic way. Talking about specific artists, I am unable to number my favourite (so many). However, two guys’ works were the first to inspire me the most from the early beginnings and these are William Schaff and Nick Blinko.
Set up an as-clear-as-you-can communication channel with the people for whom you ‘ll have to work for. Ask, discuss, brainstorm ideas for the project and if you end-up with sth interesting, then you ‘ll probably have to make some strong cups of coffee as an aid to the real action coming up.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
I combine both hand drawn and digital work. I mainly use pencils and pens for my illustrations and then comes scanning, handling, coloring, adding effects, using fonts and further digital treatment. I also use photo manipulation as well as design my own handwritten fonts in some cases.
It depends. Oh really, it depends.
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 ?
That’s sth really interesting to discuss… I have no problem in working on an already set up idea, if that goes according to my style and skills. If not, I will refuse the request politely. I always suggest and give alternatives, prefer fresh ideas, new concepts and feel happy when someone says “I trust you” (and of course, feels completely satisfied with the result).
For which band have you already worked for?
Till now, I ‘ve done gig posters and artwork for bands like: Tragedy, Spectres, Riistetyt, Sotatila, Straight Opposition, Bounze The Ball, Good Old Days, Deus Ex Machina, Chaotiki Diastasi, Hibernation, Grain, The Dark Rags, The Screaming Fly, The Dead Dranks, Syndrome 94, Johnny Carbonaras, Moshpill, Arche Tou Telous, Tug, Pareisaktoi, Slavebreed, Mother Disobedience, Three Way Plane, Vodka Juniors, Rantanplan, Antipoina, Javaspa, Censored Sound, One Hour Before The Trip, Valise and others.
For any brand new or older band that brings some worthwhile music to our ears!
Do you choose the artists yourself?
I am totally open to work with any band or make a party/event poster, if of course the project needs suit my skills. However, I feel twice happy to collaborate with artists that I appreciate and find quite inspiring.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Definitely, the time period between setting up a concept and inking a design.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I’m a damn over-analyzing weirdo, especially when talking about what makes a scene and which should be the particular connections between its members. Especially here in Greece, many times the art scenes lack distinctive boundaries between them (that happens in music as well). So, I’m gonna just say that there are some guys, individuals or creative studios, doing really noticeable work who may deserve even more attention. I don’t know whether they describe themselves as a part of a specific “graphic scene” or not, but if you search the greek underground a bit, you ‘ll discover some art gems for sure!
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?
Of course I’m gonna take advantage of it mate! You may check my work at the following links:
“How did you scare your older sister?” (actually, I’m older than her) and a runner-up: “Thank you Johnny, it’s even greater than expected”.
What can we wish you for the future?
Just be kind and wish me the best. I will reply kindly and wish you all the best as well!
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website!!
I really enjoyed this interview! Thank you so much for giving me such a great opportunity! Stay creative ‘n’ support your local music and art heroes -+