Jonathan Wolfe is an upcoming visual artist based in Calgary. Wolfe’s been gaining a lot of attention on Twitter as of late, with some of his recent pieces receiving a few thousand likes each. His style is unique and he seems to be finding himself as an artist more and more with each new work. We talked to Wolfe about his love for sneakers, his recent style, and more. Read our interview with him after the gallery of his work below.
So, I want to start by asking about your interest in shoes. You’ve been using the Nike logo in a few of your recent drawings and paintings – in one you had it used repeatedly. Have you always had an affection for sneakers? And what draws you to include these logos in your work?
I got into sneakers a couple years ago. I just started putting them into my work now. It’s honestly not really about the shoes rather the logos and what they mean to me. I don’t want to be the “shoe painter,” but i think they act like symbols for people my age. I enjoy using logos in my work because it blurs the line between commercial and fine art. Logos are part of daily life and I like to take reference from things I come into contact with.
Lately you’ve been doing a lot of marker drawings on yellow paper, creating a consistent style that can be linked to yourself. What draws you to this type of artwork? Why does it feel like “you?”
I love doing those marker drawings, it really forces me to figure out what I’m trying to say with my work cause I can do multiple a day. The aesthetic and the humor in them is what feels most like me. I can be most honest in my drawings ’cause I don’t over think them.
And how do you approach a painting compared to starting a new drawing? The paintings you’ve done recently all seem to work together as a series.
Most of the time my paintings are based from small studies, but I’ve been having a lot of fun recently just starting with no plan and seeing where the painting takes me. I’m glad they look like they’re in a series, I’m just trying to figure out what I’m trying to say with my work first. And the aesthetic is just what supports my message the most.
Who and what inspires your work the most?
I’ve been really inspired by my studio partners, it’s been really inspiring working with other artists for the first time in my life. Looking at my friends’ work on Twitter and Instagram is another place that inspires me.
How long have you been making art and at what point did you start working with these other artists?
I’ve been making art since I was a kid, I started taking it seriously in grade 7. I just started working with other artists at the beginning of this semester of school and it’s been really motivating working alongside other creatives.
And what is your end goal as an artist?
If I can support myself while being creative, I’m happy, I can’t see myself doing anything else.