I was recorded for the LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST by host Danno Klonowski, and it was released today! It clocks in at a hefty 1:22:26. I talk about my past, my art practice, I yell a bit about the patriarchy, and explain my passion for corn fields. It was a lot of fun, and I’m really appreciative to Danno for doing such a cool thing.
Tonight is the preview night for DEVIANT ART: DISPELLING MYTHS, a benefit show for A Rotta Love Plus, a great group that supports dogs.
I was interviewed on the A Rotta Love blog, which you can read by clicking here!
Here’s the interview, copy-and-pasted:
ARLP: How did you approach the topic of Deviant Art? What can you tell us about how your piece relates to the theme?
Johnson: The basic idea behind the piece that’s included in the show was to create an image that was happy! I wanted to draw a person with their dog that was uplifting, the way I’ve known dog owners. Popular stigma says pit bulls are mean, but I’ve only known them to be sweet and lovable.
ARLP: What was your first pet growing up? Do you have any pets now?
Johnson: My first pet was a goldfish named Goldie! We had all sorts of reptiles when I was a kid, too. I loved snakes. I’ve never let a bad reputation stop me from loving an animal. I just graduated college and am transitioning in my life, so it isn’t the ideal condition for a pet. I’ve actually never owned a dog, but hope to as soon as I have a stable living condition and the finances to give a dog a great home.
ARLP: What are some of your personal experiences with real-life pit bulls, Rottweilers, or other ‘Deviant’ breeds?
Johnson: I went to school in Baltimore, where pit bulls are really popular. I have a lot of close friends who have pit bulls. My good friends Meg and Graham have a pit bull named Maude, who is incredibly sweet. Unfortunately, I’ve heard countless stories of people being afraid of Maude while out on walks [because of her breed], though she’s the sweetest in the world. That’s where the idea for the bandana in my artwork came from; Meg and Graham dress Maude up in sweaters and scarves to get folks on the street to not be so frightened of her, and to give her a chance.
ARLP: Do the dog and the man in your piece have any particular story behind them? What feelings do you hope that they evokes in your audience?
Johnson: I wanted to make an image that made me think of my friends, and make something that was very tender. I hope it makes the audience think of all the great people and dogs in their lives. I hope people will look at this piece and see that discrimination only creates hatred and violence.
And while I’m here, I got some cool mentions on a couple blogs!
First is Kevin Czap at COMIX CUBE for Chicago Zine Fest 2012. He wrote a mini review for Self Portraits: Folio One.
“Great little zine featuring self portraits of Johnson in various absurd or otherwise funny situations. The crown of this mini is the set of new drawings that make up the Crying Series, which show the artist burying her face in despair while sunning at a resort, or surrounded by yipping puppies. Love it.”
My book GOING BACK got a little mention on a Best Of 2011 list by Anders Nilsen at Graphic Eye. Check that post out here!