We started Stag & Raven as we believe in GOOD ART.
Last year we worked on Manchester Christmas Markets. The weather was mostly shit. Loads of our Art was ruined in the wet weather and it was bloody freezing. On one particularly cold day I spent far too much money on a horribly unfashionable 'duvet' coat in an attempt to keep off the freeze, which remains one of my biggest style regrets. It is warm though.
Anyway! I was lucky enough to have Jon Turner as my neighbour. Powered by a brilliant music playlist (all hail PSB) blasting from his speakers and well concealed mugs of rum, rather quickly our days became much better (and fuzzier).
Fast Forward a year and I'm proud to say Jon is our Resident Artist at Stag & Raven. He works in the shop one day a week and most recently collaborated on two brand new mug designs.
I thought it would be good to get more of an insight from a self described "weird, melancholy linework' Artist.
(Oh, and just to be clear his love of melty cheese is his reponse on his favourite food - not to confuse you anymore)
So Jon, tell me about your Job History..
Jon - My first ever job, age 13, was working in a piano refurbishment workshop (it was not my calling), and then worked on a farm most of my teenage years. As a student I worked in an art bookshop, which I really loved. After graduating I worked in London, but soon ran out of money and had to move home, then spent a lot of time feeling aimless- that's when I really started to get into illustration work. I did a few other jobs, most recently for a software company, but I hated the restrictive office environment. I've been working for myself full-time for several years now; it's easy to forget how privileged a position I'm in being able to make a living working for myself- I don't think I could go back to anything else now.
Who would you pick out as your biggest influences?
I'm influenced quite heavily by older illustration and engraving work, and twentieth century pen and ink illustrators like Edward Gorey and Tove Jansson. René Magritte has also had a big influence on me, with his understated, melancholy surrealism. There are so many contemporary artists that I love; two of my favourites are Nicolas Delort and Sin Eater, who both do stunning things with linework. If I can ever create anything half as good as the work they do, I'll be happy
Do you listen to music when you draw?
Always. The music depends on what I'm drawing and how I'm feeling; often it's proper trash (the benefit of working from home- you don't have to worry about who's listening). Generally it all falls into the realm of indie/goth/punk/weird-electronic-stuff; quite often I'll completely faze out and then realise I've had the same song playing over and over for the past hour.
What's the worst thing to ask an Artist?
"Where do you get your ideas?" I mean, it's a perfectly reasonable question, but I never really know how to answer it other than "everywhere".
Ok, so who's work are you loving at the moment?
WolfSkullJack does some amazing work, you can see her work on Instagram. I'm a huge fan of the work of Joe Carr, who runs Antiquated Press in Alaska, creating beautiful work using traditional printmaking methods
So what can we expect from you in 2017?
My goals for the next year are to get some little books and comics finished and printed; that's where I'd ultimately like to take my art, illustrating and creating my own stories. I've also been doing some street art, and that's definitely something i want to explore further. Alongside that, I really love working with bands, so I'd like to do more of that and ideally work with some of my favourites. I'd also love to try my hand at tattooing at some point; I love the idea of creating unique pieces of art that people will carry with them everywhere they go.
You can shop Jon's work in our store or follow him on social media @thisisjonturner
And check out his little robot army around the streets of Manchester as well!