by Matthew J ( @IamJamesMatthew )
Introduce yourself to the readers. Who is Radio? Where is he from? What is your mission statement – related to art?
My name is Johnny Collins, also known as Radio I’m from a small town of Kernersville, North Carolina. Radio was a nickname that I got in high school when I was a freshman and since then it has stuck. My mission is to be not just a regular artist but an artist who takes the conventional styles of art and expand it to new heights.
How would you go about taking conventional styles to new heights? Do you have a particular strategies or is too early to share that info?
Pretty much taking all of the artistic styles that I’ve known and blend them to the point of creating my own unique style. I have no strategy at this point because I’m usually like to be sporadic when it comes to doing art, its more fun that way rather than planning it out, usually whatever I’ve planned to draw or paint never works out the way I intended it to be.
Tell me a bit about your hometown, Kernersville, North Carolina. What is the overall art scene like in the area?
To be honest my hometown is very quiet; there isn’t much to do. On the other hand, the art scene is at Winston and Greensboro is growing everyday yet -at the same time- I have difficulty showcasing my work because it’s not the typical style you would find here. Still I won’t complain because my work is unique and gets noticed more because it is different.
Talk about the influence Andy Warhol has had on your art. Of all the artists you could look to for inspiration, what makes him so relevant to you?
I would say the biggest influence Andy Warhol has had on my work would be the reminder to find ways of show art beyond a gallery. His example showed me how to make my work not just a conventional [art] piece but something that can be worn or become something that is part of an average person’s life. Warhol was a visionary; always looking outside of the box, so by studying him and his methods, I have expanded my possibilities (artistically). I am going against the grain and I feel that gives me a huge advantage.
As unique as we all are, individually, we also have different motivations for doing what they do. Some people want fame and fortune, while others undertake particular tasks simply for the love of it. I want to know what motivates you to stay driven and connected to art; especially on during those days when it just doesn’t look like things are working out? How do you keep a centered focus?
I have to remind myself that I’m doing this because I can inspire not only you (my supporters), but everyone out there who likes my work, as well. Those people help me to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Realizing that drives me to become not just a regular artist, but an artist who could mentioned in an art history book. To be honest there are lots of artist like me but very few become ‘legends’. I want to reach that legendary level and that is how I stay motivated to excel artistically.
We talked about Warhol’s influence, your motivation, and your hometown. Now I want to deal with style; your style. How would you describe the art you are currently making? When combining your motivations and influences, what style do you ultimately utilize?
It’s very hard to describe my style. If I were to categorize it, I would say, it’s like a combination of pop art, street, graffiti mixed with lots of cartooning. But to be “safe”, I will tell you that it’s contemporary. I’m the type that likes to create a discussion of my style. I think it makes me and my work more of a mystery (laughs).
And with that mystery, surrounding yourself and your work, do you ever feel compelled to explain things to the audience, in order to have them understand you better?? It can be frustrating to see/hear people misinterpret your work. Does that [misinterpretation] bother you?
If I feel if the audience has misinterpreted my work or the final result quite didn’t match what I had envisioned then yes, I would explain the meanings to them. Right now, at this point, I haven’t had that problem but there have been times when a person looks at the art and can’t figure out what I made. Of course, I would explain the meaning. If there is a disconnect between the audience and my word, as an artist, I feel I should explain it to them. However, if the audience says nothing, I’ll let the art do the talking.
Aside from visual art you make music. Tell me more about that creative facet and what are your aspirations with music?
I’m music producer. It’s a hobby of mine; nothing too serious at the moment but I do make Hip Hop and Electronica instrumentals mostly. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was senior of high school. I’m in the process of releasing an LP of mostly instrumentals that I’ve been working for a while.
Artistically, where do you see yourself in the next five years? Will your focus be with visual art or will you lean more on the musical side?
This year has been the start of my artistic journey. I’ll be focusing on my art because that’s what I’ve always done but music has always been lurking in the shadows. Once I have a stable career as an artist, I would like to focus more effort into music but, for right now, I’m running with my art
You’ve been selling some of your work on canvas. How has that business side of things been going? Where can people reach you and see more of your art?
I occasional do, but, right now, it’s been trickle effect on the sales. Right now, I’m building my website where people can access to my work easier and purchase it. As of right now I’m working on my website and that should be up in the beginning of 2013. That is where I’ll be selling my shirts, prints, and more. Be on the look for that. In the meanwhile, people can look for me on twitter: “@radiotheartist“.
Any last words? Who are some people you’d like to shout-out or acknowledge?
I just want thank you for the interview and for giving me the chance to be seen. Every little thing that gives me an opportunity to shine is appreciated a great deal. Most of all, I want to say THANKS to all the people who are supporting me and to all of my fans out there who help keep me going. I am truly thankful for all of that and more.
For more on Radio The Artist, check him out on Twitter: @radiotheartistter
Action photos by Henrik Haven of SABE & FAZE, two of
Europe’s most legendary graffiti artists + Danish
Graffiti 1984 – 2013
check out more below