FEATURED ARTIST: Interview with Greater Manchester Artist, John Washington

John Washington

Digital Artist | 56 | Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK

@washy21 | www.johnwashington.co.uk
We are honored to have, John Washington, as our Featured Artist, he is a super multi-talented digital artist, head over to his page to see more collages, designs, and photography. Make sure to hit that follow button while your over there! We gotta support eachother!

How long have you been an artist? What is your specialty? Where do u find inspiration?
I have been an artist from as long back as I can possibly remember. I recall going through a phase where I simply refused to do anything else but draw – obviously my schoolwork suffered quite badly but I had my work pride of place in the headmasters office. My specialty is digital collage and I find inspiration from vintage magazines, catalogues and pretty much all kinds of vintage ephemeral material.

Do you have a job in the art industry? If So, what’s one thing you don’t like about it? If no, where would your dream job be?
I’m kind of retired, but I have had several jobs in the art industry. I ran a successful design studio with a partner called Leanda Ryan and I was a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design with additional teaching on art programs of study. Occasionally I now undertake album sleeve design and posters. The biggest issue with the art industry is the sheer volume of artists who are willing to sell their work too cheaply and their are plenty of businesses ready to buy such art.

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Do you have a favorite Artist?
I wouldn’t say just one. From the art world I admire Joan Miró and Henri Matisse, but most of my influences come from the field of commercial art – as it was called back then – and include designer/artists such as Josef Müller-Brockman, Paul Rand and Milton Glaser.

What is one accomplishment you’ve had in your life? Does not need to be art related.
Gaining entry to the Metropolitan Police and then Greater Manchester Police. On leaving school I was told that academically I would not get through the selection process – but I proved them wrong!

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Hopefully still alive and still producing art. I believe art is a lifelong pursuit and it’s a subject that can be studied and practiced until the end. I’m keen to promote art as a way of helping deal with mental health issues and therefore would enjoy working in this field. I don’t tend to think too far ahead because the past has taught me that the future is never going to turn out as expected. Goals are great but you have to accept and deal with uncertainty.

If you could meet and talk to any person in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
It would be a musician: the great Bruce Springsteen. I also play guitar and have a love of songs and Bruce Springsteen is a master of marrying words with music.

How is one way you make money with your art?
Well I don’t make money from my art but that’s a conscious choice. I have made money from art and design and I placed great emphasis on delivering on time and learning as much as I could about business matters. Art as a business is a fairly complex subject and everyone knows it’s tough out there. But whatever work you produce has to be backed up by a professional approach and I always found that it was the non artistic aspect of art: the business skills, that were just as important to my success.

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If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’m a home bird, but I have a great fondness for Czech movie poster art from the 1950s and 60s – so let’s say Prague.

What is your favorite brand of art supply? Whether it’s a brand of pencils or brand of camera or software
That’s easy – my Leica M8 digital rangefinder with Leica Lenses. It’s just a great tool and it looks the part. I also have to say Adobe software which I have been using from its early days.

Any advice for young artists?
Yes, find a balance between consuming art and actually creating it. It’s vital that a young artist soaks up and learns about art, but the emphasis should always be on ‘doing’. The more you do the better you get, and moreover, I personally have found that true creativity arises out of the doing. I have, in the past been guilty of procrastination and delaying putting pencil to paper in the belief that the more I think and research the easier the solution or outcome will arise. But now I have confirmed to myself that getting to work with the tools yields the best work. Don’t ask me how it works, but whilst making art ideas miraculously jump out at me and I know this would simply not happen if I was in research mode.

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1 comment

  1. I have come across a picture in the garbage that is titled”streching nude” with “to phil” “by john Washington 1-18-81”. It looks like a sketch similar to those pictures on the internet. From thigh to top of torso. Any insight to value? Pic available

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