(Jon has been suggested by Liz Sterry)
Hello Jon, how are you?
Hi Filippo, I’m well thanks.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Jon MDC, MDC is a shortened version of a very old screen name I’ve had since I was at University, MonkeyDeathCult. This is still my profile on DeviantArt where I 1st started to post my art work online. I’m 35 years old and have been making art all my life.
Do you think UK is an interesting place for creatives like you?
With the advent of the internet age I’m not sure how I’d describe the UK creative scene. I converse and collaborate with more people via the net than in the physical reality of England. But for my own work living in the countryside and being quite isolated has been a bonus, I’ve had the opportunity to collect and photograph more reference material and be away from the daily grind of city life.
Did you study in any art school?
Yeah I have a, Honour Degree in Fine Art. But if I’m completely honest I didn’t start to learn anything about art until I left school. It took me a few years to get the passion back and start drawing again, but I haven’t stopped since.
Eheh, I see. Can you tell us anything about your working method?
The methods of my madness? It depends on wether its personal work and which medium I’m working in. For paintings I usually just go take some photographs of skulls I own or can get a hold of and then sketch up from there and the rest is experiments with colours etc. I always work in Acrylic paint on wood panels and finish with gloss varnish. Illustration work can be a little more long winded, if I have a clear idea in my head I can get to the composition stage fairly quickly otherwise, if I’m working with a client, I’ll make collages, notes, rough sketches. Once I have a design laid out the shading and bulking out is all achieved through pointilism, which I make up as I go.
You’re definitely a “skull fan”, as you define yourself in your Website. What can you tell us about this passion? How did it come up?
Being a massive fan of Fantasy books, movies, Heavy Metal music and comics I think I’ve been exposed to the darker side of art all my life. My art teachers at school used to despair of me drawing apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds and melting people all the time. But when I was watching films like Terminator, Robocop, The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street, it was hardly surprising. Finally I had a teacher at high school who realised that I could actually draw but telling me draw a bunch of flowers wasn’t holding my interest, so she’d let me go to the biology lab and draw the skeleton they had there. I’ve not got bored with them yet…
You’re addicted to tattoos too. How much are you covered by them? Is there a preferred one?
I think its a common misconception to say that people are addicted to tattoos, I certainly love them and want more but the idea of physically craving them is absurd. They hurt. They hurt more the older I get too. But I love the process, getting to meet other artists and letting them tattoo their work on me is an honour and a privilege like no other. I have tattoos over both arms (though still a clear forearm on my right arm), most of my back, chest, ribs, both legs, but not my face, neck or hands. I aim to keep getting tattooed till I run out of space, but I won’t have my face or hands tattooed. As for favorites I see the skull on my inside left forearm more than any of the others, but they each represent a moment in my life.
Can you tell us what are your visual influences?
Nature is my main visual influence, I look out my window at trees filled with birds and fruit, this keeps me inspired and everyday I see something new that makes me want to keep drawing.
What advices would you give to a illustrator that wants to move in UK to work as a pro?
My advice would be to question why you would want to move to the UK? With the internet you can work from anywhere, if you really want to make it as an illustrator or an artist it doesn’t matter where you are physically just that you are producing work constantly of a good standard and style of your own. It comes down to money, you are your product and you have to be able to sell yourself, moving to America or Spain or China won’t make a difference unless you have the work and skills to sell them.
What are you working on these days?
Just about to finish a couple of shirt designs for a small UK apparel company, recently self published my 5th book of designs for tattooists and looking to relaunch my company making limited edition laser etched jewellery.
Sounds good! What about your plans for the future?
The future is constantly changing place, I’ve learned over the years to make very loose plans as things change when you least expect it and you have to take the opportunities your offered. I’d like to be able to buy some more equipment like a Fine Art printer and a desktop laser cutter/etcher so I didn’t have to out source the manufacture of my prints and jewellery. Small steps!
Thank you Jon! Is there anything else would you like to say to our readers?
Thanks for asking my to contribute, well for the skull fans check out my work at mdcindustries.co.uk and if you like things a little lighter then my jewellery and other things are available via fromtheblueinc.co.uk there are links to the stores and Facebook pages on both sites, come and say hi!