Creative in public, experimental art school and Jonny Blackburn
By Claudia Pardo 10/04/2012
A Ventura native, Jonny Blackburn is an up-and-coming artist whose vibrant, pop-inspired works are making the scene around town. Most artists’ first creative memories may be drawing on the wall (and getting grounded for it) or finger painting in school. Blackburn’s introduction to art was permission to use his grandfather’s — who was the head point operator for missiles in Point Mugu — Microsoft Paint software on his personal computer. The impact of this experience is very much present in his work today. In a time when everything has gone digital, artists want to find a fit in the artworld. Am I a fine artist? Am I a commercial artist? What’s mixed media? Blackburn fits snugly in this gray area. Rather than get pigeonholed into one category, he wants to transcend boundaries. His rule-breaking, attractive works combine graphics, photography, Photoshop brush design, street art and painting. When he’s not creating art, Blackburn is making toys. Don’t let this paint the wrong picture. Blackburn works long and demanding hours designing and developing the packaging for international toys. “I translate abstract ideas into concrete imagery that sells a product, he says. “The challenge is to find the wow factor.” Needless to say, he gets great inspiration from his day at work, and applies it to his studio time. To see Blackburn’s wow-factor, visit jonblackburn.sqsp.com.