Recently I discovered the amazing Caitlin Johns Designs on Instagram. She is an amazing digital illustrator who creates commissioned pieces and one off designs. I was so inspired by her visions and incredible art pieces that I wanted to interview her on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading the interview with her, please check her work out at @caitlinjohndesigns! Plus isn’t this piece she drew of me amazing?!
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Caitlin Johns and I’m 17 years old (mostly known as @caitlinjohnsdesigns on Instagram) I’m currently studying at Plymouth college of art on the pre-degree program Graphic design, Game arts and illustration. Whilst on this course I’ve developed my own graphic/ illustrative style and have used that to create A4prints, tote-bags, t-shirts and magazines in this style to raise awareness of really important issues that I believe too many people are ignoring because it hasn’t and maybe won’t ever happen to them. Alongside this I’m also working at the great superstore Tesco haha!
Why do you do what you do?
The reason behind my illustrations have ultimately been to spread awareness. I literally don’t understand how throughout the whole of 2017 (& 2018 now!!) people don’t have opinions about such important topics! How can you ignore everts including; racism, sexism, homophobia, police brutality, politics’, rape culture etc. I want to portray my opinion and hopefully the opinion which others will share to either encourage people to speak up, give someone another point of view to consider or to change their minds completely to start understanding issues outside of their bubbles. I hope that showing other people it’s ok to speak out against the sh*t you don’t believe in and how many people will back your thoughts- Of course it’s in moderation though; I’m strictly promoting a better, equal world not encouraging people to be hateful. I think it’s time everyone starts to love each other and own up to the crappy things you’ve done or you’ve backed and change our world for the younger generations to be able to never make the same mistakes that have previously happened. We need to learn, accept and improve in all areas of our knowledge, always. I just want to express these thoughts through art and creative outlets to hopefully catch more attention that just writing about it I guess.
What’s your background?
I was born and am still currently living in Plymouth!? Um, I’m an only child living with my mum and dad with our many pets haha, there not much of a ‘background’ as such as I’ve been in the same place for my whole life so far but I hope to soon get replies from the Universities I’ve applied for which could potentially mean moving.
How has your practice change over time
Seeing as my whole style is digitally created it probably will sound hard to believe that I literally HATED digital art two years ago! I was 100% certain I would always be drawing in my sketch book but I was clearly wrong, the more modern artists I would research for college work the more I’d realise I should at least ‘give it ago’ and I remember the first illustration I created with my own style in mind and how terrible it was! But you just have to stick to it, try other options that’ll help you out and you’ll eventually get it!
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Work for a purpose I’d say. I’m really keen on the idea of helping others and inspiring people to wake up and have an impact. But ultimately, it’s anything that’ll allow me to hate on Donald Trump or be sassy and draw nudity to empower women.
What themes do you pursue?
Personally I don’t think I’m strict with themes. I illustrate fashion, self-portraits and of course my ‘ranting’ illustrations. The most popular ones are probably my political pieces and women rights illustrations.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
My friend dan and I were up late once talking about feminism- this led to my illustration of male feminism which ended up being one of the most popular pieces of art work I had ever done! Same with the ‘no you can’t touch’ about women and men with crazy amazing curly/ afro hair – my fiend Elliot was asked like three times in an hour by random girls if they could touch his hair and it was clear he was getting annoyed so I thought ah! Something not everyone understands so I should create something to raise the awareness. I don’t know if it happens with other people but I mostly just hear other people’s stories and the news and just really click with an issue; always having a passion for the debates in RS at school I’ve always been the type to express why and how I feel about something.
What superpower would you have and why?
It’s got to be either mind control or being able to time travel, I’d love to have experienced wearing gogo boots and also going to a Tupac concert haha! But to also have helped impact how the world is today- mind control to stop stupid people being in power making stupid decisions too.
Name something you love, and why.
As cliché as it sounds I love LOVE. Whether it be from your fave girlfriends or family members, maybe even an elderly person you’ve spoken to randomly throughout the day I think it’s amazing how we all feel It throughout our lives and I love how differently people express it! Through music, art, poetry or sport just having love and passion for something! But I do love chicken to.
What is your dream project?
Oh wow, my dream project would probably be to create a COLAB magazine issue with Dazed or VICE and turn it into a potential little mini-series of me just talking to activists of all different views of all different things and gaining knowledge but also being able to perhaps alter their views.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Be humble. Be hungry and Always be the hardest worker in the room.” – Personally, it speaks volumes to me, always have a goal to be better because no matter how good you get there’s always room to improve and new ideas to be focused on! Love Ciandra x