Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This is a painting I've just finished, done in acrylics on wood. Lionel, you will be proud of me for figuring out how to enjoy acrylics, and not only that, but I actually like them. This piece is a commission so it is not for general sale, but I still get paid, yay! My work is selling at the gallery in delaware now, and I have 3 commissions to finish up, not to mention I finally got a full time job with benefits and profit sharing (yay half-price books!) So every paycheck I recieve, I am closer to living on my own in san fran. Plus I am working on several side projects, and writing a lot lately. I am really excited to get these commissions done however so I can focus on my own paintings yet again, although I do like this piece a lot... I just need a scanner! Photos don't do justice to my paintings... oh well for now.
You know, sometimes I hate to finish a painting, it sort of makes me sad, like the feeling of finishing a book... you are glad you got to the end, but the joy of getting there is over. Going by this philosophy, painting is an acute representation of my own life; whenever I get to where I want to be, I start looking again for something new to chase after. I am the sort of person who loves the ride, the adventure, playing the game more than winning, and falling in love more than being in love. I love the story, not the ending; the brush strokes more than the painting. Well, I must try to sleep now as I start the daily grind tomorrow morning at 8:30 sharp! I just hope I can do this with out wanting to strangle someone in two months, I'm not very good at keeping jobs apparently.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staying Busy

A Vignette, acrylic and found objects 2009

Oh My! I have been absent for some time, haven't I? Well in my own defense, I've been busy. Ha! Actually, I've been thinking... about the peace corps, my job(s), and grad school (argentina?) or just moving to puerto rico to sell my art on the side of the road and live off of coconuts and romance (all very tempting options, mind you) since i don't know when san francisco will actually happen because I feel I want to settle there and stay there... which I am not very good at I have come to realize. I just can't settle and stay. It's not my nature, you see. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I believe it is my destiny to keep moving, to keep exploring, and to never settle down until I have exhausted all options, seen all there is to see. Is that depressing? Possibly. Is it realistic? Very.
So, anywho, in between my mania and strokes of genius, and apart from writing a new mini series about the irony of being an artist, and being completely broke and alone, I have finished a project (to be displayed at Channel 33 Project Gallery this Friday Dec. 4th from 7-whenever in Columbus, OH!) Hooray!
Here is a sneak peak... very different from what I have done in the past, yes, but I am always on the go, moving ahead even if I am physically stuck in one place for the time being. So don't worry, folks, this Midwestern Beauty will conquer the world soon enough! Oh, you're not worried? You don't even care? WELL SCREW YOU! Ha, I just kid... I kidding... seriously, just take a look. And COME TO MY SHOW! (or pretend like you will...)

The Star, acrylic and found objects 2009

Posh Exotica, acrylic and found objects 2009

Miss Mary, acrylic and found objects 2009

The Lush, acrylic and found objects 2009

The Life, acrylic and oh you get the idea!

Open It!, digital photography of found objects 2009

I will try to put up all the photos on my temporary website, www.thelajohnson.com.
But in the mean time, go eat a sandwich.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The Pacific Ocean as I see it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Out in California

Well, I made it to Arcata, staying with my dear friends Katie and Keaton and enjoying a new place! Almost done with my graphic design portfolio, so I'm getting anxious... here is some visual stimuli:

I'm enjoying this stuff! (the design, not the boobs....) I think I may have found my calling!

I am sitting at a coffee shop in the mountains, right on the coast, and everyone sitting around me looks like they are students/professors, lumberjacks, pot growers, or just west coasters... it feels like a different country, except everyone speaks the same language as me. It is quite refreshing!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Here is another project I've been working on. I am trying to create a whole new portfolio, and so far, I am 8 projects in out a possible 15 (that is what I am shooting for). My social and personal life is basically non-existent at the moment.... so, I feel this couldn't be a more perfect time to do this. Let's just hope I don't drink myself into a coma. Ha ha naw, I'm just kidding, I'd never do that before I've skydived or had group sex.
this is a logo I created out of a sketch-doodle thingy. I scanned it into Photoshop and played around with possible ads for a soap product... and voila!

... then I took the original drawing, and used it as the ad itself...

So, anyway I am motivating myself on the basis of not living at home forever; a pretty solid motivator I believe. Also I have actually been enjoying this project, which is huge for me since I spent most of my school days despising computers (I still think they are going to be the catalyst to the apocalypse).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Preparing to leave Ohio

So the past few weeks have been rough, but a path is finally clearing and I am figuring out what sort of work I need to produce in order to get a job. I am working on some illustrations that I can use for graphic design and I am actually having a lot of fun with it!
This piece was just a drawing in my sketchbook that I showed to several people who laughed and really liked it, so I created a use for it, and finished it in photoshop (my savior!). So now I can add Deer Valley Wine to my portfolio, even if I completely made it up...

After I made the wine label, I created two possible ads for the brand. I did everything myself (wow!) from taking a photo of a wine bottle, to drinking all of the wine inside... which I guess wasn't necessary, but very helpful to my mood.

more to come!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Here is my latest work of genius. Ha ha haaa, sometimes my arrogance just floors me!

( hey everybody, come see how good I look!) acryllic on board, 4'x4'

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Well, I've been a little out of the loop lately, but I'm back! (Huzzah!) The Red Bull show was pretty sweet, with a lot of great boards to look at. My work at Channel 33 Project is getting good reviews, and I am going down there for the 1st Friday Art Walk this week in order to swindle some potential art-buyers... hehehe.
Here is something I did today after hearing some radio host talk about kids coming out of the closet in 6th grade... I did a few of them, but this is my favorite. I think I'll turn these into promo cards to send out next week or so. Enjoy my little paper doll friend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Red Bull Skate Show

Here is the info for the show I will be in Sept. 12th! I also am going to be putting up work in two new galleries: one in Columbus, and one in Chicago. Yay!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Illustration Friday Theme: Wrapped

Here is my submission to this week's Illo-Friday theme, "Wrapped".
Cheeky, I know (or maybe ballsy for that matter, teehee!) and I definately don't expect to get a job from this piece, but my god I laughed out loud while doing this one! I mean, c'mon, who hasn't thought of this already??? So, at least it was time well spent, and I got to use my anatomical knowledge about genitals! What a fun day!

LA Johnson

LA Johnson – Listening to mellow folk music

Posted using ShareThis

My work is being shown on The Little Chimp Society, which is a news-reel style Illustration site, that I found through some college friends who post there regularly. Check it out!

Friday, August 14, 2009


"The Dancin' Henchmen 5"

What now, bitches?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Art

I went to the art museum here in Cleveland and I have to say I was impressed. The museum has been under construction for several years now and the new East Wing has just opened, which contains many new collections, as well as the old standbys. Also, they had several bands playing, and food and booze as a way to bring in some money and generate a crowd. Good job, museum, I am proud of you.

I didn't make it all the way through yesterday, but out of what I saw, my favorite was this one...

by french artist Jean Lecomte du Nouy, titled A Eunuch's Dream.
First of all, the painting is just breathtakingly beautiful-- the hyper-realism is dead on and convincing, and secondly, the story is so sad and familiar (not the castration part, but the unattainable dream part, haha) it makes me want to jump in there and curl up next to him, smoke a little opium, and see what visions my own mind would conjure up. Sounds like a great Saturday night...

My other fav was Still Life with Rayfish, by Chiam Soutine, a Russian painter.

This gruesome spectacle caught my eye (of course) and I instantly fell in love with it. I loved it even more after reading that Soutine created this piece as his own interpretation of Gustave Caillebotte's Still life with Crayfish. Soutine took a calm and sophisticated scene from an upper class meal and DESTROYED it, hahahaha, a-mazing. I guess I like this sort of thing because it is usually what I do with my artwork; I mean, as an artist I inherently want to recreate and depict my own version of life, beauty, perfection, and emotion, so when I see something nature did right (as She usually does) I don't want to simply copy it, but rather depict it as the right now (or the wrong now for that matter). My love for surrealism and abstration stems from this way of thinking, I imagine.

Also, some guy in Germany contacted me about doing work for an Italian pop band that he promotes, which I was excited about for days, until he told me he couldn't pay me... thanks a lot, jerk.

AND I am currently working with some artists in LA who are trying to put together a new Illustration magazine called Super Cool Magazine (inventive name, I know) so we shall see if that follows through, which I hope it does and I will keep you posted!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WTF, Yacht?

(I found this image of YACHT, a Portland band, on Lost at E Minor, a site I go to daily for art related news)

Ok I'm usually not that paranoid, but when I have a new great idea and suddenly see, oh, a few weeks later, that same idea done by someone more famous than I, the wheels in my head start turning... Is this coincidence, some cosmically woven universal plane of thought that can be reached by many at the same time--the sharing of ideas without being verbally or visually inspired???? Or is it just theft, the stealing of intellectual property from some unsuspecting nobody... that has led the band YACHT to steal my creative GENIUS and use it for their own mediocre artistic endeavors????!!!
Whether it be the universal ebb and flow, the Tao if you will, or just some random awful chance that an idea formed in my own little head, transformed through my little obedient fingers into a paper image that holds an entire train of thought in the form of squiggly ink-drawn lines could have been stolen and duplicated, slightly modified, by someone with a larger fan-base, nay, a fan-base at all and therefore rendering my own idea as unoriginal! What am I to do??? Is there any justice? It may not be a big deal to anyone else, or even to my own career, but the principle of it all just baffles me. How can anyone ever get proper recognition of having an idea "first".... I mean, we all know the tragic story of Tesla's uphill battle with being taken seriously, only to have his ideas be realized and produced once he was 6 feet under the ground! And if there is no way to claim an idea as being the first of its kind, then why do we give recognition, why do we seek recognition at all? Shouldn't the thought of someone else having the same crazy idea as you be a comfort and not a burden-- a reinforcement of one's own sanity?
This could mean that I really am a part of something greater than I can comprehend, and that any fame I acheive during this lifetime is really unsubstantial when it comes to the meaning of life! Or, it could just mean that no matter who you are, famous or not, some other jack ass will come along and take what little pride you may hold on to, "I won first place in the spelling bee in 1984" "My old boyfriend dedicated his novel to me" or even "I make a pie that no one else can top", that jack ass will sweep down to your little circle and snatch that tiny molecule that you hold on to as "a great idea" and show you that you are not unique, you are not original, and any dumb sap who thinks he or she is a god full of untouchable genius, will one day find out that he/she is actually the same as Boris from Russia or Susan from Mexico or John from 300 years ago!
Well, as you might recall from a post a few weeks ago, I find this image to be eerily similar to my own... and yet, I ask again, what can I do but sit here and gripe about on my blog?

(Censored Eyes, copyright LA John-- oh what's the f**ckin use...)

Maybe I should stop putting my work on sites like Threadless and Illustration Mundo until I am rich and famous and have a lot more power than I do today.... but that obviously would do more harm than good in the long run. I will simply shoot them an email confronting them about the ordeal and asking for an explanation. Maybe I function on the same brain wave as them, because as I am realizing more and more I am not original, and neither are you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lakewood Artwalk and new stuff stuff

Well, since I'm stuck in Cleveland right now, I decided to participate in the art "scene" so I am going to be selling originals and prints Saturday August 8 from noon to 8pm in Lakewood, OH. Not sure where I'll be set up yet but somewhere along Madison Ave.... haha. Besides that I am also in a show coming up in September at the Pop Shop Gallery. This one will be fun! It is sponsored by Redbull, with several artists and bands showing work and having a good 'ol time.

Other than that I finally got a bartending gig so I can now start saving money and planning my San Francisco adventure.

I also did a piece today which is my homage to sad music, which I love thiiiiiiiiiiiis much. Enjoy.
New site is finally underway (thanks to my man)... I will let you know as soon as it is ready!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

They seem to be getting weirder...

"Ding! Ding! Ding!"
Rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands of the moment, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs rock pretty hard.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Work

It has been raining a lot lately...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another threadless submission!

Winnie the Pooh - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

please vote!

Working Towards a Goal

I've been working on creating images for the Lakewood ArtWalk (saturday the 11th). Who knows if anyone will buy anything, but i certainly would.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Threadless Tees

Censored Eyes make Great Pets - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

Threadless has lots of year round competitions... please help me win!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New work

"Censored Eyes"
I have been working on some obsessive line drawings in the past few weeks, with very vague themes where the drawings sort of work themselves out... I like this one a lot. I thinks it represents our age quite well. Color version to come...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Work

Grand Canyon, AZ
Summer 2008- While on vacation, my dad and stepmom and I rented a vehicle from Avis (idiots) to take us from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. It got a flat tire, and when my dad and I tried to change it, we realized it had a locking nut. We looked for the special wrench to unlock it, but there was none to be found. So long story short, I ended up hitchhiking to the canyon with an Escalade full of Canadians (who were really awesome) and spent the day waiting for a tow truck with a Hualapai Indian named Whataname (Wha-ta-na-me). This is how I remember the day- beautifully inspiring and exhaustingly stressful.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Painting of the Week

Here is a painting I've been working on for my grandparents. It speaks of traveling with all your belongings, your comforts, and never taking the chance to step completely outside of what you know and are familiar with, simply because you are afraid. They really love Bermuda, but my grandmother's health is failing and she rarely leaves the house anymore. My grandfather loves to travel, but being the good husband he is, he feels he cannot leave her alone. They commissioned me to do a painting that will hang over their fireplace, and their entire condo is some shade of tan (if that is even a real color). I feel like this will bring some color, cheer, and maybe even inspiration into their home. I hope they like it.

Here is the revised version of my winnie the pooh book cover...

...the text is now more nostalgic, appropriate for its time, and not as overpowering.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Design #2

Jacket Design for Winnie-the-Pooh. You Like???

Awkward Echidna

Tapping into my Inner Designer

Don't we all? No, but seriously one day after being UBER inspired by the magnificent Stefan Sagmeister I decided to come up with ways to paint existing household items/found objects to create 3D illustrations using my knowledge of photography (that I haven't used in a while) and my knowledge of design (and basic type skills). Please leave any comments, as I am somewhat new to this genre of art.

Oh, and I do still drink out of this coffee pot... it sometimes scares me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Drawing a Day

July 1- "Bird Bashing" -Occasionally I get sucked into the drama around the bird feeder/bath and let me tell you, heh, it is p-retty interesting...

June 30- "Outer Shpongolia"

June 29- "Marriage is Forever"

A Drawing a Day

June 28- "The One in the Blue Shorts" -I did this one during breakfast at my friend's house after a long night of partying... maybe that's where the inspiration came from???


June 27- "The Metra Makes Me Ill"

June 26- "Jesus Cristo had Dreads" my version of the Christ figure, inspired by a painting hung up in The Rail in Savannah, GA. Pretty sweet.