Today we’d like to introduce you to John Otter.
John, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in Southern California in 1973. I was drawing from a very early age and never seemed to stop. After high school I took some time off to experience life, a few years later I began taking art and art history classes at community colleges. I spent about four years in community colleges exhausting my course options, during which I dove into printmaking. I eventually transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I expected to continue printmaking, but by the time I graduated I was more interested in painting and drawing. During that time I was accepted into the New York Studio Program, where I spent a semester painting, drawing and going to galleries, museums, art openings, and parties. Unable to afford rent in Manhattan I opted to sleep in the studio, large pieces of canvas as my blankets and my sweatshirt as a pillow. I’d wake up and walk to the corner deli to get coffee and then resume painting and drawing. The cities of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York formed strong impressions on my work, the bridges, subways and architecture would slowly transform from renderings to abstractions.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Currently I’m focused on mixed media drawings, usually on paper or mat board and sometimes on wood panel. I like to think of my drawings as abstract landscapes or mental playgrounds, spaces for minds to wander. I’m fascinated by dimensionality, metaphysics, perception and creating harmony and intrigue. I never know what the final piece will look like when I start. Sometimes I start with watercolor washes, other times I begin with ink outlines. The composition comes into focus as each element responds to the previous, a dialog takes place between the lines and shapes, followed by watercolor, gouache, pastel and/or colored pencil. Intricate ink lines, dots and concentric patterns compete the piece.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
My definition of artistic success is satisfaction with your process and results – the creation of authentic work, without regard to a future audience. The world embraces work that resonates, and nearly every range of emotion, thought or action can be a success if done purely. I think each artist has qualities or characteristics that can lead them to success, whether it’s a larger than life persona, an obsessive drive, brutal self-honesty, anger or humor.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I go through phases of focusing on either producing or promoting and exhibiting work, I find it difficult to do both simultaneously. At this point I’m only making art, new works are uploaded to Instagram and occasionally added to my website or shared on Facebook. The best way to see what I’m working on now is Instagram, my website has a selection of my art throughout various times and phases. I’m not currently represented by a gallery but am happy to sell my work directly to collectors.
- Website: https://johnotterart.com/
- Email: https://johnotterart.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnotterart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnOtterArtist/