Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jon Landry

Name: Jon Landry 

What do you do?
In terms of just artwork I like to draw & paint.  In terms of being an artist, I like to imagine that the choices we make in life are like the choices made on the canvas; sometimes we go here, sometimes we go there, sometimes we fuck up - but in the end it's the finished product that's judged.  Being an artist is more than just painting - to paint
is simply a profession. Art is changing your life.

Where can we find your work?

The easiest answer would be - but I'm not hard to find. My work has been displayed in a number of places across Chicago, San Diego, & finally back home in San Jose.  Really grateful to a lot of good people I’ve met in the SJ Artisans community for early opportunities.  Keep it in the hood, y'all.

What inspires you to create & how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
Being an artist is the ultimate rebellion - it's flipping off society with both kickstands & defying a life centered around consumption. It's choosing a life according to the cry of your heart, regardless of how the chips may fall.  Personally I'm still learning about the
message, but what inspires me to create is the fact that the only time I can really find peace is when I'm drawing.  I need that time to myself in the lab, I need that time for reflection.  It's therapy for me, it's an obsession.  The thought that I don't have to live a life around a commute & a paycheck - that's pretty fuckin' inspiring.

My grandmother had a simple mantra for when things get tough - 'so what?'  Life is a constant struggle; things are always going to get tough, there's always gonna be a monkey wrench thrown into your plans, & shit is always gonna happen.  But so what? How are you gonna handle the inevitable adversity life throws your way?  You can't just crumble underneath it - you've got to roll with the punches, you've got to be able to perform under pressure.  I like to remember that I’ve got all my fingers & toes, I'm not in the hospital or in jail, I can speak English perfectly fine & I’ve really got nothing to complain about.
Keep moving, keep fighting, & keep getting better.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
You could make legitimate arguments either way, but both hold their own intrinsic value.  I don't know that either is more important than the other - honestly I think it's all just one big kickass experience.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
My mother was hands-down the strongest person I’ve ever known – my sense of will, determination, tenacity & perseverance all come from her.  My father on the other hand was hands-down the wisest person I’ve ever known - "If you open your mind to the realm of possibilities, that which is impossible - happens."  Without the influence of these two individuals I would never have had a chance. There's really no close second, but I suppose I could round out the top five with Banksy, Harry Chapin, & John Madden.

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain
That being said, I'd go with Batman.  Definitely Batman.

When do you get your best ideas?
3:00-7:00am.  At home, drawin' pictures, of mountaintops.

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
Pencils, erasers, & a whole helluva lot of sharpies.  Acrylic paints on canvas, detail brushes, & high-gloss varnish.

Are you self taught or formally educated?  How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
Self taught - I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid but just started painting about five years ago.  Learning as I go has it's pros & cons just like anything else - it's exciting to find new tools o or techniques as I learn, & then there is of course the whole 'Sinatra'
factor.  But it can be debilitating too; ignorance is crippling, knowledge is power, so it's a constant search for learning, whether you're in school or not.  "There's more than one way to an education, & maybe I prefer the one I got." - Benny Binion

what would your creative work taste like?
Pork chops & whiskey.  And no fancy-schmancy shit either - maybe a little apple sauce but that's it.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I like meeting other artists & just stand-up genuine people in San Jose.  I like finding opportunities to help people & thinking about how I can be an asset for my community & how I might be able to make things better (even if just a little).  I like to meet my neighbors & explore the city, find the old spots & check out the new ones.  But there is absolutely nothing - I mean nothing - like tailgating from 5:00am at the Oakland Coliseum on game day.  I love that shit.  Go Raiders!!!

How did you learn to access your creative talents & gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
To be honest, I kinda just backdoored into this.  From the beginning I’ve had trouble taking credit for my work because I never felt that this was something that I did - this wasn't something I aimed to do or studied for or accomplished - this was something that happened to me. Through a set of meaningless circumstances, I made a drawing for
someone, & other people saw it, & it took off from there.  People gave me a lot of positive feedback, but I can't say I really needed the extra confidence - it's still so new to me, & I still just love it so much, I'm gonna do what I do regardless of what people may think."Don't think about making art.  Just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, if they love it or hate it.  While they're deciding, make even more art." -  Andy Warhol

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
It's about substance, it's about meaning, it's about will.  Be true to yourself.  Follow the cry of your heart.  Stay focused.  Keep getting better.
Commitment.  Sacrifice.  Discipline.


  1. WOW. I so admire the man you have become and am so proud of you! You have drawn the best from the people around you and used it to grow. Dad

    1. Thanks Dad. Still working, but I'll get there. Love you too.

  2. I am interested in trying to get more info from this artist. I am very interested in his work but his facebook link does not work. Is there any other way to contact him?

    1. Hello,
      Here is the correct FB link. you should be able to contact him through here. Also, we would be happy to pass on your message/contact info to him if you would like.

    2. Hi Shannon, both the JMLART22 link and this TDRaiders one no longer work. I am an acquaintance of Jon's, and I can't find his personal profile on Facebook either! Hope he didn't go into hiding, his work is so good.


    3. Sorry about the confusion, all - I've left fb for good but still doing my thing. Hope to see you guys again soon!

  3. Is there any phone number I can reach him? If not where shouldIemail you my info.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for your interest & my apologies for the delayed response; haven't gone into hiding but yes I did delete my fb pages. Easiest way to get ahold of me is to email

  5. What ever happened to this artist? Any updates?