"Untitled #2" - John Gillmore
Currently incarcerated in Missouri.
"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."
9" x 12" | Pen on cardboard paper
🖋 Artist's bio
🖋 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.”.
📸 Artist's social media
📸 Artist's social media