Can Hello Kitty! actually be an inspirational source for a serious artist? Well, at least for one, yes. John Donovan’s 9-year old daughter just recently outgrew her absorption with all things Kitty, but the years before provided John with ideas for clay masks and helmets based on the kitty, the bear, and the bunny. Into those base forms, he’s mixed elements from the meso-american period - Hopi, Aztec, Mayan - along with those from Asian pop culture from the 1970’s. Since John believes strongly in keeping several projects going at one time - that allows him to walk away from one project at a moment of frustration and work on something else - these objects are resting neatly in various corners of the studio. He’s been here - the same two story garage in Inglewood that hosts the famous Red Barn concerts - since late 2012. Before that, he spent 5 years in the studio-intensive Chestnut Square/Houston Street area just a super long fly ball from where the Sounds play their home games. John’s penchant for keeping things clean and organized serves him well in his limited space. The three basic steps for creating with clay - prepping the ball, slab rolling out the parts, and assembly - are completed in three distinct, but nearby areas. Plenty of light floods in the front when the weather allows the garage door to stay up. Clip-on spots fill in the shadows.
From the artist: “I enjoy externally imposed systems more than the average artist. I’ve accomplished more in the studio since I’ve had children, because it’s clear to me just how valuable my time is here.”