by Alyssa Laube
About: Jordy Johnson is “rough around the edges, but with a heart of gold.” While recovering from a brain injury, Jordy found his passion in creating West Coast Fusion Art.
You’ve self titled your work “West Coast Fusion Art”. What is it a fusion of?
West coast fusion art is a mix of West Coast Art and Asian art (old Japanese).
Explain how living on the West Coast has impacted you as an artist.
The different cultures, all of the mountains, and the ocean has impacted me and my art. In a lot of my pieces you will find something to do with the mountains or water. It has been a big part of my life.
You say that you became interested in art after an “accident”. What was that experience like for you?
The accident I had was a brain injury accident. I couldn’t draw a running stick man before I got hurt. Vancouver’s top Nero doctors have said, “Yes, Jordy, we do believe a switch has been flipped on inside your head.” The artistic switch! I could go on and on about the facts, but it’s better to leave it at that! The experience has been a long recovery. I am still recovering, but to say the least, I am happy and love to draw/paint.
Before you became involved in art, what did you want to do professionally?
I started roofing at a early age when I quit school, then moved on to iron working, and back to roofing as I started my own company. I was happy doing what I was doing with my company, but I also wanted to be a rock star! Who wouldn’t?
How did creating art help you recover?
Creating art sure has helped me recover well! I can sit at my art table and create something for hours upon hours. I love to listen to music while drawing. It is my place. It is the one thing I own that no one can take away. I guess you could say that it’s my bliss!
Are you glad that you became an artist? Why/why not?
I’m not too sure that I consider myself to be an artist. Who even really knows what a artist is? All I can say is that I am very happy. I have found my place. I am learning new things every time I sit down. Without learning, I think life would be pretty boring! Yes, i’m happy with what I do, but not all of the time! Some pieces I finish get stuffed deep into the back of a closet, only to be seen again when i’m gone!
There are also themes of nature in almost every piece, especially pandas and bamboo. What is it about animals and plants that inspires you to create art?
I’m not really sure, maybe animals in my view are peaceful, maybe i’m listening to mellow music when drawing those pieces. I have led a pretty wild life until my accident, maybe it is just my mind saying that I am now in peace!
Please list some of your biggest inspirations, be it people, things, or ideas.
Cliff Burton, my mother, my sister, my son and all my loved ones.
What is it about Japanese culture that fascinates you?
The temples, the samurai warriors, the culture, and I must not forget the beautiful geisha girls.
Were you raised around Japanese culture growing up?
No I was not, but my grandfather had a lot of cool Asian artifacts around his house such as masks and dragons…He had all sorts of stuff! I also love the traditional Japanese tattoos.
What was your experience at the Art World Expo last year like?
Last year’s Art World Expo was fantastic! I’m not really into talking about my art with people (I guess i’m kind of shy) but Monika (the founder) has been great. She lifted my spirits when it came to my art. She motivated me, and told me to be proud of my art, not so humble. I think that the Art World Expo is a great place for any new or old artist to display their art.
How do you experiment with colour and shape?
If a colour works with my art, I keep it. If it doesn’t, I paint over it with a different colour! As for shapes, I just go with the flow.
Do you have any words of wisdom for your audience or fellow artists?
Follow your dreams, and the more you practice the better you will get! Do what feels right for yourself, not for others.
To see some of Jordy’s work, go to https://www.facebook.com/WestCoastFusionArt