I started doing art at an early age. It’s a beautiful form of expression, one that I believe chooses you not the other way around. Growing up I was very inspired by cartoons, movies, and music. I hung around and skated with a lot of very talented people, mostly older kids that for some reason let me hang out. These cats were into all kinds of new things, which really influenced me to express myself. We all possessed a do it yourself type philosophy so instead of watching skate videos, we made em, or instead of listening to music, we made it you know. The skate culture to me was an open-minded group, no prejudice, no rules, you know, the skies the limit type mentality. One party would be playin punk another hip hop and another would play some alternative shit that was new to everyone. I drew on all my skateboards, clothes, ramps, whatever, so graffiti was an obvious transition. Over the years I have started doing more and more artistic murals but in the beginning I was just another cookie cutter graffiti kid. A bunch of kids at school started playing the role, hittin up, starting wack crews. It was all cool to me for a minute but I knew that I had more skill then just ruining some wall with a tag so I started focusing heavily on drawing and painting. I knew graffiti was one of the ultimate forms of art when not abused. I never believed in crews due to the fact I think graffiti or art relies more on the individual. I started to learn of artists in the real world who were doing similar things to what I was doing. I saw that these artists came from similar backgrounds of thought. I saw that these cats were in galleries and the world was embracing this culture. I still do graffiti occasionally however I find the most enjoyment in canvas and ceramics.
Me and my friend Captain Darren started printing stickers at his dad’s printshop. In only like one year we printed over 65,000 stickers for a music project we were doing called character 3. Him and I would roll all over sticking these things up, along with posters and tags. The stickers made it all over the U.S. and into other countries. In this time I was approaching galleries and landed my first show at the Rico art gallery in Santa Monica. The show led to a couple of others in the Santa Monica area. A few years later I met L.C. Croskey and Michele Waterman of the cannibal flower. I give these two the biggest props as well as Marshall Astor of walled city gallery for supporting my work every month.
Art is an ever-expanding thing to me. It calms me down and is personal. It brings me together with other creative minds. My art focuses on spirituality, religion, science fiction, reality, and my thoughts and imagination. I love to use words in my paintings. I feel it lets the viewer dive deeper into their thoughts and mine. Life is a beautiful thing and I feel blessed to be spending mine creatively.
Recent projects include art for various records including, Circus and Asmar’s “Gawd bless the faceless Cowards”, the shapeshifters “was here” and Awol ones “reborn” record.. Upcoming shows are all in l.a. but I hope to show on the east coast and Tokyo.
Can’t forget my shout outs,
Love and respect to the Gill family, Transducer, Cuz, Circus, Awol, Charles Bukowski and the beat writers, John Lennon, math, science, anti war solutions, the demons that haunt me, Dave G, and most importantly, the well read sophisto and the blissful ignorant.
Please visit Johnmichaelgill.com to become super smarter.