UK-born, NYC-based artist Jon Burgerman is renowned for his brilliantly bright, doodle-style illustrations and murals. We talk American grub, the secret to Instagram success (he has nearly 50k followers) and sharing his studio with mice…
Meet Jon Burgerman…
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in Brooklyn NY, with my collection of belly button fluff, pens, salad, sock monkeys and wife.
What’s your home like?
I try and keep it as tidy as possible but it’s always on the cusp of clutter.
What time are you up in the morning?
I’m awake around 8am although I always aim for earlier.
What wakes you up?
My phone’s alarm.
How do you feel?
Right now? I feel a bit stuffed, I had salad for lunch (good) but my assistant suggested a side of fries to share (bad).
What do you do first thing?
I stumble into the shower and then make some tea.
In three words, describe mornings in your home?
Slow, hazy, oatmeal.
What’s for breakfast?
Steel cut oats that have been soaked over night in soy milk with raisins.
How might the rest of your day pan out?
If I’ve had enough sleep it will be light hearted and joyous.
If I’ve not had enough sleep it might well be the complete opposite.
Sleep, I’ve discovered, is a pretty valuable commodity.
What’s your workspace like?
A mess but a colourful, fun mess! I have a studio in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. In the building are lots of other artists, French people and the odd mouse.
Are you a happy lone worker, or do you enjoy the buzz of a shared workspace?
I’m a very happy lone worker and long for lone time. But of course it’s healthy and good to have other interesting humans around too. It’s a balance, too much of either is a problem.
You studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, when did you start creating your now iconic doodle-style murals/canvases?
I guess it just sort of evolved. I was making similar looking doodles from when I was a school kid in my early teens. It’s just how I draw.
You were born in the UK, why did you decide to relocate to New York City?
Salad and french fries! (And for a change of scene).
How have you found the transition?
It’s been good. Any big city will have its ups and downs but I’ve been here six years now so it must have been mainly ups so far. Trump could end up being one huge downer though…
One thing you love, one you hate about NYC?
Love the energy, the pizza and people.
Hate the extreme heat in the summer.
Alongside illustration/painting, you’re in a band called Anxiteam. What inspired you to move into making music?
The band doesn’t exist anymore but for about four years we had a lot of fun performing and playing around NYC and Europe. I just wanted to do something fun and different. I wanted to see if I could express myself outside of doodles and paint, with sounds and words.
Where does your true passion lie: creating a still life or performance art?
I think it’s somewhere in-between because when I’m drawing I feel like it’s a performance, with the resulting drawing or painting acting as documentation of that performance. For me the fun is really in the act of making and creating.
What’s the secret to career success?
I don’t know but to be happy in your life you must try and spend most of your time doing things that bring you (and those around you) happiness.
…And to Instagram success?
Ha, I don’t know! Just post interesting things that are actually worth sharing. I don’t think people really need to see 100 selfies or photos of your cat.
Describe an ideal weekend?
Big homemade brunch with friends, or dim sum in the city after a big night out the night before. A long walk in the sunshine, ice cream, art gallery hopping, then drinks and going to some fun event in the evening.
If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
Maybe Seoul, the 13-hour flight is quite draining!
Any other comments?
It’s great to create!