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  • "Untitled #2" - John Gillmore prison art original art John Gillmore
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John Gillmore

"Untitled #2" - John Gillmore

Regular price $85.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $85.00 USD
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"Art is life and music is the universal language. Every day that I am alive I thank the stars above for giving me the talents to live a life of love."

⚖ Description

The artist is currently incarcerated in Missouri. He specializes in Japanese inspired lines.

All original artworks are created by artists previously or currently incarcerated. They use whichever materials they have access to, and prove creative ingenuity beyond the norm. These original paintings and drawings are born in the heart of a prison cell, from the hands of an outsider artist to adorn the walls of your space. Each art piece is a one-of-a-kind that not only enhances your interior but also makes you actively participate in reforming the prison and criminal justice system.

The incarcerated artist receives 50% of the sales proceeds. The artists set their own prices based on the costs of materials (it can vary greatly from one facility to another), the time spent on the piece, their experience, and simply - what they think it’s worth. Alongside with offering a financial outlet, we aim to empower their confidence and reinstitute their status as human beings - not a number behind bars. For most, art is an escape, a path to self-discovery and healing. Through art, they can reconnect with society so the gap is not so unbridgeable when they get out. Through the sales, they can stay connected with their families, afford daily commissary items, pay societal debts, relieve the economic burden on their loved ones, and save up for the release date. So they have the financial means to get ahead of reinsertion and get a fair chance at that second chance.

✎ Product Details

9" x 12" | Pen on cardboard paper

✑ Artist's bio

“As far back as I can remember, Art has been a major part of my life. To this day, my Mother has drawings I made before I was even in kindergarten in a box that says ‘Glenda’ on it in her bedroom. I used to draw and trace pictures of Spider-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, S-10 trucks; all kinds of stuff. As I got older, I developed a huge love for comics and cartoons. When my mom would take me to the store with her, I would run, barefooted, as soon as we hit the doors to the magazine or toy section (depending on the store). I would sit and read and stare at these books until my mom came to get me, or I would try to get a Ninja Turtle into the cart without her seeing me. The locally owned store, ‘Pick-and-Pay’, started carrying comics, and just like the other stores, they would tell me it ‘wasn’t a library’ and they would tell me to buy something or ‘get out’! It was ran by two elderly people. After some time, they hired a younger kid (I think it was their son), and he never made me leave when I was reading. He saw that I never bought the books, but would come in all the time to see if they had new books. One day he asked why I couldn’t buy the books, and I told him I didn’t get a weekly allowance for comics. This guy was also a comic fan, and I found out he was the only reason they started carrying comics in the store. So, he made a deal with me - after he would buy and read the comics, he would sell them to me for a quarter; only he would cut out the upper lefthand side of the front cover so I couldn’t sell them. So at that point, I started a comic collection and started attempting to draw some of the images. I had seen my cousin, Sam, draw some demons off of the ‘La Sexorcisto’ album, and my cousin, Chad, showed me quickly (like he was annoyed with a little kid) how to draw Wolverine. I spent six hours on my first reproduction drawing. It was after a long day of riding BMX with my cousin, Ronnie, in the drainage ditches and I had ruined my ‘Bad Boys’ shirt. It was a picture of GAMBIT out of a wizard magazine. From there, that’s what I did when I was bored. I remember staying up so late at night, being as quiet as I could, to draw. When my Dad would wake up, he would shut ‘art time’ down and make me go to bed. I drew on EVERYTHING; even our washing machine (my art desk) was covered top to bottom with art. In middle school, my teachers made me a deal where I could draw on my desk as long as I cleaned them off on the last day of school (thanks Ms. Vonstro). I had girls wanting me to draw their names on their arms in class and friends wanting me to paint things for them. I was drawing tattoos on my arms every day and drawing flyers for my band and other bands. It was great; I started skating a lot and got a girl, and that’s when art slowed down for a time. I hated my job, so a friend suggested that I should try to get an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop. At the time, I was buying tattoo magazines and drawing designs with really shitty art supplies from WallyWorld. Back then, I didn’t know there was a local art store. After discovering National Arts Supply, I still love it to this day and I always have great, long conversations with the owner every time I go in there. I went around town to most of the shops to show my work on paper. I had a lead on a shop called Bloodline, so I stopped in there. Ronnie’s friend told the owner, Donnie, that I was coming by. After talking to him, I was so stoked that I dropped by my friend’s house to tell him they were interested. In the next few days, the dude went to try and steal my spot; good thing I had stopped at other shops. I came home from work one day and my Mom said a guy named Ron had called. He was a guy from one of the shops who took my number down; he told me to stop in and he wanted me to show him my work again. I was so stoked, but young at the time. My life was band practice, skateboards, and my forever love, Ariel. That phone call blessed my life. I was with a killer crew of tattooers and the world was at my fingertips. Learning from Ron Henning was great. At the shop, I received the greatest phone call ever. It was Ariel, and she said ‘I’m going to stop by, I need to talk’. I got off the phone, and a guy named Johnny asked if something was wrong. I let him know that Ariel wanted to talk, and that I thought she was pregnant. When she arrived, I was right; she had such a beautiful glow. We had my most favorite person in the world almost two weeks after getting my tattoo license. I couldn’t have asked for a better blessing as far as a career than tattooing. I owe it so much I can’t repay. A few years later, I had a dream and I woke up crying tears of joy, and while me and the kids’ mother were hanging out, I said ‘I got you pregnant'. She didn’t believe me and asked how did I know, and I told her I just knew. Shortly after, she missed her monthly and we had the love of my life. David and Zooey are the best kids I could have ever asked for. One of my favorite things to do in the world is to draw and paint with the kids. I love the good in that. My tattoo career has been plentiful, and so will the years ahead. Bub (David) and I are going to go swinging blind into the unknown with music, Art, adventure, and new locations in store. Art is life and music is the universal language. Every day that I am alive I thank the stars above for giving me the talents to live a life of love. I remember in grade school when I scored my first cassette, and in middle school I traded my dirt bike for a drum set. Art and music have been a part of me for so long, I can’t believe it. The good, the bad, the memories; I wouldn’t change them for anything, and it means nothing...to you.”.

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