Bringing Back "Old Folks"


When I was a kid I was a full time skater. I dreamed of having what the pros had, Boards with their own graphics, Stickers, Shirts, etc. In this day and age I love utilizing print on demand sites if I cannot fulfill orders on my own. I have been researching these sites for years to find the best quality items to use. My research has also aloud me to keep cost down. I work extremely hard to make a living doing art and I have nothing but love for anyone who has supported or liked my art. I never have and never will take this for granted.

I have had the great fortune of meeting, as well as working with some of todays biggest names in the artworld. One thing that seems to be true is no matter what level anyone is at there is still luck involved. Anyone who feels the world owes them the ability to make a living creating is simply delusional. It all comes down to work ethic and luck. Skill is obvious but it is no more important than getting your work out there, paying your dues, and honing your craft.

Old Folks is a company I started when I was 17 or so. My graphics were crude and I knew even less than now. However, there is also something rarely discussed that needs to be acknowledged, “The Greatest Generation” have impeccable style. The other competitive brand, “Young Folks” will never admit it but in the wars known as style, Old Timers, You win!

This Is Old Folks……


I am trying so hard to balance family life with creating art and music. It is so difficult and literally impossible when my son was born. I think I went a few years without fully investing time and energy into making things. I would scribble something here and there, but the idea of actually committing to a painting was actually a source of anxiety. Thank God my Wife is so loving and my support group is solid. I am back to feeling good about my work and where it has evolved to as well as not becoming jaded by the phony art world popularity shit show. The right people have always found my work and kept me going in terms of a "job". I wish I could find the right gallery. I am collecting my work instead of doing the old half ass assembly line I did for so many years. 

 The one mistake I am still making is working super late everynight which leaves me exhausted. My son is up everyday right around 7 a.m. and normally I work until 4-4:30 sometimes just missing it all together. Not healthy...... In other words I am still working out the balance, but it is getting better.

John... 3-27-17

"Spirits" John Michael Gill 2017

"Spirits" John Michael Gill 2017

"Left Out" John Michael Gill 2017

"Left Out" John Michael Gill 2017

Corporate Eye Soars (The Gangs and The Government are no Different)

Many people get absolutely crazed about street art. I understand the bad apples who just destroy walls or worse, nature. But look at the companies who force feed you the date of a certain shit movie or product. They plaster wheat past, billboards, and entire buildings with the sole purpose of taking your money.

Graffiti, I am not a Graffiti artist but I have done public art for my entire life. I am a criminal. A FUCKIN CRIMINAL for doing art. With the exception of a few hometown hero assholes, 99% of people who see me ask me great questions and are generally almost childlike in their enjoyment of talking art for a few minutes. I have never set out to hurt anyone in fact I am only trying to spice up stale and sterile streets. In Europe and other countries art is cherished, in America it is only celebrated if money can be generated i.e. Banksy, Shepard Fairey, etc. Why do we not demand art in our daily lives? Instead most pieces are done half ass because the gang, I mean cops would love to make use of their feet and fists as well as convince a young person they are in fact criminals. When I post some little shitty street piece I get an enormous amount of likes, comments, and so on as well as a list of calls, texts, emails urging me to stop. I wish those same people were urging the law makers to decriminalize, or more importantly learn to see art as vital in daily life.

The Control Myth

I am really trying to figure out who I am. I have reached a real level of honesty within. I have reached a point which holding grudges or hating is not worth it. My childhood was much more difficult then I have ever admitted to myself. Never abused, molested, etc. but my family is blended. My 2 sisters are half and my brother as well. I am a symbol of my parents union, which I always knew was something that has a multitude of dimensions. I have heard constant lies or half truths about my parents. At one point I feel one sibling was almost trying to recruit me. Recruit me as they were. I have had to keep certain siblings at arms length hoping I won't have to fully let them go. They have their side, which is valid but I feel those who spend time trying to disgrace something are holding onto some abstract truth. Anyway, just an example of my path, one issue and I must say I am blessed. I have realized that at my age now I have limited wisdom. I can see growth in my art, stages or states of mind. I am lucky to have art as an anchor in my pursuit to learn who I am. While semi successful this is what really matters. Art is a person within that listens and lets me vent.

What I have come to understand is you do not happen to life, life happens to you and control is a myth.

Most think this is an act of immature ignorance. Necessary is what I call it. John Michael Gill. 2017.

Most think this is an act of immature ignorance. Necessary is what I call it. John Michael Gill. 2017.

Rush hurry go

Traffic increases

The holiday season

People, each the center of their own universe

It becomes important to drive crazy, like a drunk

It becomes important to be first

John Michael Gill. 2016

John Michael Gill. 2016

Insomniac (Eyelashes)

 I lay there, awake next to my wife. My mind will not quiet itself. I think of thousands of things all at once, some pleasant, some disturbing. I keep visualizing the human body which comforts me but I can't hold it. Again and again I reposition myself but nothing works, no comfort tonight. In the back of my head is the thought that my son will be awake early and whatever sleep I might get won't last. Again the human body, some faceless woman poses for me and all I see of her face are eyes forever changing. 

 This is a losing battle. I get up and put my headphones on. I walk out on my balcony and smoke a cigarette. It's cold now in Washington and peacefully mist falls. I think about the fact I am a night person, I always have been. Having my son has been hard on my sleep patterns. It's a rhythm you cannot change. I am most creative at night and most aware, this is when I get things done, while the world sleeps. 

 I strum a few notes on my guitar and put my headphones back on and start writing this. The worst part is, I had so much to say, so much to write but as I sit here I can only think of the eyes I keep seeing when I close mine. The eyelashes. The tiny wrinkles emoting such expression. I can think of the troubling nature of my inner dialogue and the conflicting subjects that are on my mind tonight. Darkness and light. I stop writing and focus on Thom Yorkes voice singing "Present Tense" and an explosion of images release into the space behind my eyes. 

 Soon the sun will come up. Soon the cars will fill the street, but until then I will try and close my eyes one more time.