Crackal Mini Vinyl Toy...
Mini Dudes, Jonny Wan
Crackal is the mini version of Jonny Wan's excellent King Crackal Big Dude. Immaculate design, intricate detail and a brilliant...
Jonny Wan was born in Sheffield in 1985 to parents with Hong Kong ancestry. This exposed him to the bright, visual imagery of far eastern Asian culture, inspiring him to “create”. His childhood was spent mostly drawing from visual pop culture and his favourite cartoon characters with his own personal twist. He has always had the ability to retreat into his own world and let his imagination run wild, which has been his escape from what is happening around him.
His unique style has enabled him to work and collaborate with some of the world’s leading brands, to produce work on a global scale. Jonny has achieved so much thus far but has much more to offer the creative industry by developing his work to reach and inspire more people around the world; an exciting journey during which anything can happen!
What made you become an artist?
A strong desire to create images and explore my imagination and curiosities led me to becoming an artist. Apart from being able to communicate visually through my work I also love to connect and collaborate with other talented creatives around the world. The great thing about creativity is that there are no limits and rules to abide by and you are free to explore whatever you want without justification. I think the excitement of starting a new piece of work and not knowing how it will end up is fascinating and it's one of the few mediums where mistakes are often encouraged!
What or who inspires you?
A lot of my recent work has been inspired by ancient art from all over the world. Looking at how various cultures differentiated themselves through art and imagery I find very interesting and that is where I draw a lot of influence from. There are many artists that I look up to, partly through their work but more so how they have applied their work within contemporary context. It excites me when I see an artist apply their work not only through print but to murals, toys, sculptures etc.
If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be & why?
I would love to collaborate with AJ Fosik if I ever got the chance. His work is stunning and I've not seen anyone who is producing work like his at the moment. The intricacy of his sculptures are breathtaking and I would love a chance to see some of my work combine with Fosik's.
Which of your artwork pieces is your favourite?
I think my favourite to date is the 2010 year of the tiger piece I created. It was a piece I felt defined my style the best and represents me in terms of my illustrative style and encapsulated how flexible my style can be.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a couple of exciting secret commercial projects that will be unveiled throughout 2012 but aside from that my work is due to be published in a few illustration books, I'm also in the process creating some of the lead illustrations for a new brand also due to launch early 2012. So much I want to share but unfortunately you will just have to wait and see! I am in a transitional period with my artwork and looking to explore different styles, so a lot of my time right now is spent in my sketchbook experimenting with different ways of mark making and imagery.
What's the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing is simply being able to make a living through my passion of creating. Its difficult especially at the beginning and there are no guarantees that it will work out and you have to have a lot of self belief in yourself and your work. Like another illustrator told me once, illustration is a more of a journey than a job so be prepared for everything.
Any words of advice for aspiring artists?
Work hard and remember to enjoy it. Experiment all you can and don't be so worried that you don't have a "style." That is something that takes a while to develop and usually finds you in the end so don't try too hard searching. Also take the time to learn about the business side of art, creating is one thing but remember you have to pay the bills and make a living. Be sure to educate yourself on the contracts and legalities of being self employed, after all you are a business.
What do you love about your hometown of Sheffield?
I love Sheffield because its where I grew up, all my key life experiences happened in Sheffield and it nurtured me into the person I am today. The Sheffield Art scene is very much in its infancy compared to other established cities such as London and Manchester but thats a positive. It has the opportunity to shape its own future and create its own culture and it's very much competing with the larger cities right now.
Did you always want to be an artist or did younger Jonny have different aspirations?
I wanted to be a professional basketball player when I was younger. The fact I couldn't grow beyond 5'8 pretty much shut down my hopes of a career in the NBA but never say never! One of my life long goals is to be able to dunk a full sized NBA hoop, trampoline in tow!
Name something you love, and why.
My imagination because it holds no bounds and has never let me down. I can sink into my own world where I am the creator and there are no rules to abide by, just me and whatever I want to create.
Jonny Wan was born in Sheffield in 1985 to parents with Hong Kong ancestry. This exposed him to the bright,...Read More