The very talented Los Angeles artist Johnny also known as KMNDZ has given Hi-Fructose a peak into his sketchbook and artistic process. His artistic philosophy reflects living life to the fullest. Johnny has a very successful commercial design career, however his primarily focus is on his own art work. His paintings and drawings are filled with personal icons and symbolism that reflect his memories, people in his life, and biblical stories. See inside his sketchbook and read the interview below!
Have you always kept a sketchbook?
Yup, sure have. Earliest one I can remember would be in the 7th grade. All my friends that made art carried black books around, mostly graffiti guys. Was hard not to want to start your own.
Why is it important for you to keep a sketchbook?
I’m constantly thinking about art, concepts, paintings, and designs. If I never wrote or sketched any of my thoughts, I would forget most everything. They also tend to act like journals. It’s nice to go back and see what was on your mind at the time. Not to mention I like to take my sketches and turn them into gallery pieces.
Do you often sketch out ideas before working them into finished pieces?
Yeah I do doodles of ideas for paintings. Usually are very rough and loose. I like to do the final tight version on canvas VS in the book. Unless I’m planning on showing the sketch, then it’s a tight pen rendering.
What brand of sketchbook do you use?
I don’t usually stick to a certain brand. The one I’m using now is a Stillman & Birn. Its the one with black ring binders. I like being able to open it up all the way. I also use a pen to sketch, so its easy to hook the pen inside the ring binder. Even better, I tend to carry around a 9×10 piece of 300LB cold press paper. I’ll do a rendering on one side and write down notes and sketch on the other.
What are some good sketchbook tips and habits that you can share with our readers?
Carry it with you at all times, never throw them away, fill them up, and always go back to them. If your going to have friends sketch in them, I would encourage you to keep a separate book. As for the pen I’m using, it’s a 0.7 black ball point from Foray.