Ventura RAWards 2012
Once again, Bombay’s Bar and Grill turned hip underground art scene for
one night only to host the annual RAW: Natural Born Artist competition,
touted as the biggest indie art show in the world and by far one of our
favorite events of the year. Nine winners represent Ventura County and
the surrounding areas in the Visual Art, Photography, Accessories,
Fashion, Music, Film, Hair, Make-up and Performing Arts categories. We interviewed some of the winners...
Winner/Visual Arts: Jonathan Blackburn
a variety of mediums
to create images that are wildly
combine photography, custom photo shop brush design,
traditional and contemporary pop-art and street-art mediums, How would
you best describe your style?
mixture and blend of the all the mediums that I love. It’s blending the
traditional technique where I’m mixing my own colors combining
airbrushing and paint strokes capturing them digitally. Sometimes I
will take a print and put that on canvas and layer it with random
brushstrokes then reuse that random style in a digital medium. It’s a
back and forth process and interesting things come out because the
layering process. This makes for some really neat mixtures and
compositions. The coolest things come out that even I didn’t expect.
It's the random errors that are truly unique and one of a kind.
you’ve always had a love for art. Is there any particular events that
led you where you are today?
was around art and technology at a young age. My grandfather was a
technical genius and he’d let me play with the paint program on his
was opposite of the guy that would say “oh don’t touch my
computer.” He got a kick out of me doing things and he encouraged me
to explore and he mixed that with a history of art. I guess it all
translates to all these things. I’m open to and exploring many
different art styles and applications. In my experiments down the
years, my wife Brianna really pushed me and supported my creative bones
to enter my work in the Ventura County Fair's pro arts competition in
2011 she said, “You have some wild and amazing stuff, people would
really enjoy it, you should do this.” I sort of got a kick and a push
and it all took off from there.
Who or what has
been most influential to you artistically?
turn of the century artist, Kandinsky, Picasso who did some pretty
abstract and wild stuff and Frank Lloyd Wright who's works were
geometric and architectural in design. Also, contemporary Barcelonian
street artist like Miss Van because here style is unique and it uses
the medium of urban visibility. Alongside Miss Van, there is Blek Le
Rat who takes graffiti and turns it into something really cool, pushing
ideology and political boundaries.
What are your
own favorite pieces from your collection?
I think the themed stuff that I create is pretty wild and the most
satisfying, like The Fashionista piece (2nd place winner at the Ventura
County Fair Pro Arts Exhibit 2011) or The Ringmaster. That kind of
style got me into that theme and I found my home. It’s my element:
Pieces that are a colorful explosion of styles past and present coming
What brought you
I was born
and raised in this town. I graduated from Buena High School and Ventura
is home for me. I’ve met so many great people and friends here. There’s
an amazing and communal art thing going on too. Ventura is where I
built my start with my grandfather, my wife and my family. I’m glad to
call Ventura home and you can’t beat the weather either.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I’d love to continue to get exposure and get my work in galleries. This
RAW competition is a blessing. I want to continue having a chance to
compete and show my
work. It’s neat
not to just compete or
recognition but where you can have a forum among other artists and
see how they do things from a
different approach. It moves
Where can we see
your art now?
now there’s a piece hanging at the VC Buzz local office on Chestnut St.
in Downtown Ventura, and local print shop "The Image Source" and on my
personal portfolio at
What do you want
FIV readers to know most about you?
I just want to continue to enjoy what I do and to get stuff out there
and bring a smile to people’s faces. For other artists, I just want to
tell them: Don’t compromise. Don’t worry about it or what anyone else
thinks. Find your own path and explore. The possibilities are endless.
Read about more Ventura Artists