Interview with John Hansen – Artist in the USA

John HansenJohn Hansen is an artist from the United States of America. He is a self taught digital artist. His art is mostly abstract, although he also does landscapes. You can connect with John on Facebook, or you can visit his website to learn more about him and to purchase his art.

View John’s art portfolio. You can also view his art after the interview below.


ExtraImaginary: Please give us a background of yourself and your art.

John: I have always had the ability to do better than average art, never was commended for my efforts though. I took a couple of art classes, but I never could please the instructor. I was always trying to find my own comfort zone, rather than please the teacher. I got married and did not try any art for 35 years. I got a windows 98 computer with 815 megabyte hard drive in 2004, the hard drive was too tiny for any kind of large programs, but I did start using windows paint. That got my creative juices flowing. I then got a HP Presario with 30 gigabytes, downloaded Twisted Brush, ArtRage, and Dogwaffle I started using them, without looking for instructions, just experimenting with all the tools, filters, alphas, and whatever else there is there and started getting ah ha’s. 5,000 digital art pieces (FILES), amounting to 6 years later, I am totally in love with art. I do art because I am compelled to do so. Not because people give me accolades or money … I do art because my cells, all of them … tell me … DO ART! My art is basically abstract, I can do very good landscapes, still life, and so forth but I have a strong tendency towards abstract art. I have learned through the use of all programs and file system use, to create interesting compositions.


ExtraImaginary: Your artwork very varied. You do landscapes, abstract, geometric shapes, etc. What motivates you to do a piece and how do you go from inspiration to final product?

John-Hansen-Arizona CanyonJohn: I am compelled as an artist to do art.I am improvising as I go on doing the composition. All of my art comes from inside of me, very little reference material is used. When I was a member of Wetcanvas Abstract/contemporary forum, I was constantly inspired by the constant improvisations of the many artists of that great community. In the beginning me being a digital artist just starting to learn composition, color usages, shapes, how they all relate. I was not welcomed initially, for some reason that did not bother me. I did not care how infantile my stuff looked. I was getting totally immersed in creating art. I start out with a blank screen and a program, and my mouse and start improvising with everything at my disposal. The images just flow from the pointer! I just go into a state of doing art. The one thing I try to be conscious of avoiding, is creating mud and formless images, being too dark and foreboding, and being too fast in creating my digital compositions.


ExtraImaginary: What tools do you use in terms of computer platform, software, accessories?

John: I have a HP Presario PC, it has 69 giga’s of hard drive, with 16 giga’s of free space 1.49 giga ram I have a D drive from a earlier computer, which has 25 gigabytes of free space in my current PC. I also use free agent external hard drive 250 gigs for file storage, and a i9900 cannon printer. I use the software … Twisted Brush, ArtRage, Dogwaffle, Adobe Creative Suite cs2 … Photoshop, Qimage. As for accessories … I just use my mouse, nothing else.


ExtraImaginary: How do you know when a piece is finished?

John: In doing abstract art, it is not clear cut like doing realistic art. Nor is like doing a landscape or still life. It is based on feelings. The artist’s emotions and mentalities projected on to the canvas, discernible by viewers. Is the abstract art communicated non-verbally by the artist … selfishly projective and at the same time selflessly honest? The other stuff like being too busy or unbalanced are superficial, compared to the former. The artist will know inwardly, when a piece has matured … However … digital art has allowed even matured pieces to re-done-over/morphed into other pieces of abstract images.


ExtraImaginary: Does the “Undo” feature in digital art make things easier? Traditional artists go through a lot of pain to correct mistakes. Is the “Undo” feature a blessing or a curse? How does it affect how your artwork turns out?

John: The “Undo” is almost magical part in the process of learning how to do art. It frees you from the “Fear’ of making mistakes. You are fearlessly trying to do things that are foolish in other mediums. As a result you find out how things go, faster. If you are not sure how things went…just repeat the “Undo feature’ and you can see the steps played out. I have grown as a self taught artist very quickly. So I say digital is very helpful in my artistic development.


ExtraImaginary: What inspires you?

John: First of all, my muse, who is my wife Maria Varga-Hansen. She is a very skilled, multi-talented and com-passionate artist/art lover. She is very enthusiastic about any form of great human creativities, and above all nature’s beauty. I love to look at old wood doors and see all kinds of objects and beings swirling around inside the panels … Along with rock and cloud formations. Seeing creation in its unfiltered glory is big time fuel, for getting the orgasmic itch for doing art. Other artists, many … are always inspiring me with their great skills and visions. Always willing to make the conventional boring and unsatisfying.Are able to trail blaze, and not be so concerned about conventional materialism.


ExtraImaginary: What is your most memorable moment as an artist?

John: When I realized I was addicted to making art, and that my life had indeed changed.It went from going to work 8 hours, then watching TV until falling asleep reading political history. Political activity on Saturday, along with shared custody of my lovely daughter … yadda yadda. To becoming married to a fellow artist, involved with getting exposure and networking on line with artist globally. But most of all … supporting and being supported by a great talent like my wife.


ExtraImaginary: Do you get creative blocks? And if so, how do you overcome them?

John: Not yet … been lucky so far! Have no reason to be feeling down, or frustrated.


ExtraImaginary: Who are your favourite artists?

John: M.C.Escher, Salvador Dali,Mark Rothko,Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tizian, El Greco, Frida and Diego, Thomas Benton Hart, Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Chagall, Banksy, and Maria Varga-Hansen, a.k.a. Vargamari.


ExtraImaginary: What are your goals in regards to your art?

John: To continue to improve in every aspect of image making, branching out into other mediums.Become a self sufficient artist, and help others to reach their goals. To help people understand abstract art more fully …


ExtraImaginary: Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?

John: I am just a very blessed and fortunate fellow artist.

Web site … http://www.wiscojaydub.net/

Facebook site

Art neighbor site


ExtraImaginary: Thanks John. You’re ExtraImaginary!


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  • Ognjen Karabegović

    BRAVO.Very creativ and inventive works.