Hortons has been speaking with local Leicestershire artist, Jonjo Elliott.
Jonjo has been living in Kibworth in South Leicestershire for over a decade with his wife, 4 kids and Cockapoo Polly. He also has a studio near his home in Kibworth that is currently under renovation.
“I love the village feel with the small high street and surrounding countryside.”
Jonjo’s art is very modern and distinctive, a style which he has been developing over the years with a focus on still life, botanicals, architecture and interiors in bright vivid colours.
“I’m primarily a painter working with canvas, oils and acrylics, but I do like to include installations in my exhibitions, such as a fully working skatepark I built amongst my artworks in the LCB Depot gallery in Leicester. I work across all sizes from huge 10ftx11ft pieces to smaller works in the 70x100cm range, so I usually have works for all size walls.”
“It’s important for my work to be joyful and eye-catching as I want it to improve people’s interiors and be a talking point for whoever sees it.”
Jonjo is best known for his work that featured in the Netflix series ‘Dirty John’ with Christian Slater. He has also had exhibitions in the UK, Los Angeles (where he was given a solo show in 2019), Florida, Palm Springs, NYC, Switzerland and Brisbane.
“I grew up on comics and skate graphics and I think that shows in my work. I actually have an exhibition in NYC at the moment featuring skate decks I’ve hand painted.”
Jonjo gets the inspiration for his art from many different avenues, including music, films, books, visiting exhibitions and more. He even sees his childhood comics and skate graphics present in his work today.
“I love to see artists achieving their dreams and building their craft. It’s inspiring to me.”
Despite always loving art (some of Jonjo’s earliest memories include painting on the floor of his parents house), Jonjo soon realised that there is no straightforward route into becoming a professional artist. It wasn’t until he started as a mature student studying fine art that Jonjo really believed that he could turn his passion into a career. Prior to that, he had jobs as a screen printer, graphic designer and a photographer.
“I graduated with a first and set up my studio and it’s been going good since then.”
Following his degree, Jonjo started exhibiting everywhere he could, documenting and sharing things online along the way. His work was then discovered by galleries who got in touch and offered him his first exhibitions.
Now that Jonjo is able to do his hobby as a career, he loves the industry even more, often being surprised, delighted and shocked by the art world and its participants.
Outside of art, Jonjo has skateboarded his entire life and he now takes his kids down to the skatepark whenever he can. He also coaches Kibworth under 16’s girls football team, however most of his free time is spent reading, researching art and looking at current exhibitions and documentaries on contemporary art.
For more from Jonjo please watch the video below, take a look at his Instagram profile @jonjoelliott and check out his website at jonjoelliott.com where you can find his portfolio, exhibition history and a blog.