Marc Johns creates whimsical drawings filled with dry wit and humour. Whether it’s a man with branches growing out of his head that need pruning, or a pipe that’s trying to quit smoking, his characters are simply, sparsely drawn, yet speak volumes with just a few strokes of the pen. He's been drawing since he was tiny. He's not tiny anymore, but he's not exactly big either. Marc is not sure why he's talking about himself in the third person...
I generally aim to say as much as possible with as few elements as possible. My work often leans toward humour. Finding the humour in things often leads to finding the truth. I like to create absurd situations, by combining things together that don’t belong, or imagine what inanimate objects would say if they could speak. For instance, the pen I am using to write this draft would probably say: "I'm tired. Can we stop for a bit?" Or perhaps it would say: "I can't believe you're making me write this. This is rubbish. Signing cheques would be more inspiring than this." These are the things I think about. I think about a lot of things. I think about thinking. Don't try it though, it's not worth it.
I use watercolours in ways you shouldn't. I make my own sketchbooks. If I smoked, I'd roll my own. I'd rather draw than rent a movie. Don't try to start a conversation with me about recent films. I haven't seen any. I play the guitar. If I was a hobo, I'd learn to play the ukulele, because you could fit one in your duffle bag. My artwork and the materials I use are quite compact. You could fit my studio in a large suitcase.
Marc's drawings have been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Athens, Amsterdam, Vancouver and elsewhere.
He has a book (which is sold out now).
Oh, and he's been lucky enough to make drawings for the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, WIRED, Newsweek, Harper Collins, and a few others.
Marc lives in Victoria, BC, Canada with his wife Kristen, two boys, and a drawer full of pens.