Sunday, December 28, 2008

Influenza! Doug Johnson

Images copyright © Doug Johnson.
All rights reserved.

When I started out as an illustrator I met one of my heroes, illustrator, Doug Johnson in Austin, Texas at illustrator, Larry McEntire's Studio . Doug Johnson was one of the best illustrators around in the 70's and 80's. He had that uniqueness that defied imitation. His artwork had those incredible highlights (blobs of paint we called "blippos" at The Sketchpad), and master airbrushing that was topped off with superb design.
Even when I was a realist illustrator in the late 70's I wanted to copy him. I loved his signature and later I found out Michael Doret helped out on Doug's design when he shared studio space with Doug and Charles White III. Michael designed the "Blippo" Type on the Manhattan Yellow Pages above.

Scans (2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 24) courtesy of the Doug Johnson Museum @ Realraum Berlin.
Thanx, Chrisse for your efforts to keep the worx of Doug Johnson alive!
Apologies for my oversight.

Jpeg of the Around the World with Ike and Tina Turner album cover courtesy of Mike Salisbury from his OneHellofaneye Blog.
BTW- Mike Salisbury was the UA Creative Director for that album.

Here is an El Fenix Mexican Restaurant with Doug Johnson's illustrated logo done up big here in Dallas, Texas.

16 comments:

Michael Doret said...

I should point out that I didn't really "design" his signature. the basic design was his, but he asked me if I would formalize and clean it up for him.

Where did you find all this stuff? Did you ever find out where he is now?

Michael Doret said...

By the way, that's my work up there on the Yellow Pages cover. I did five versions of "blippo" lettering: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Nassau. I never knew what happened to Staten Island.

Don Huff said...

I love this art and remember seeing a lot of it in my college days and being influenzed by it too! thanx for seeing it again. Awesome type Michael, I assume you did it all with pen and ink... I remember how hard that was to do back then. Today? I love my Mac!

José Cruz said...

Doug Johnson changed my conception of what a realist illustrator should look like. His stylization is what motivated me to seek another direction away from pure realism.

Anonymous said...

doug johnson painted a portrait of my dog omie as a birthdy gift about a hundred years ago...

José Cruz said...

Anonymous- How about sharing that with everyone via a jpeg.
send it to my email address:
jose@x-factor-e.com

Thanx.
José

Norman Hathaway said...

Doug is alive and kicking and living in New York. He gave up illustration to work as a set and production designer for the theater.

I'll be meeting up with him soon and will report back afterwards.

Ruben Cubillos said...

Jose you're right on. By the way your work is right in line with these greats. The last time I saw Doug was in 1983 on his visit to the Art Institute of Houston. He freaked when I asked him to autograph an illustration book with some of his illustrations. He seemed laid back and let his art speak volumns of his Toronto education.

Saludos,

José Cruz said...

!Orale, Homes! I was too much of an upstart to have become one of these greats but thanx for the compliment. They are what I call my masters and the honor is mine to even have tried to emulate them. Not having worked for them, all I could do was emulate them. Doug Johnson deserves all his honors even from me.

Chrisse said...

It would be nice to point out my weblog REALRAUM BERLIN, where most of this Doug Johnson scans are coming from. It was hard work collect together all this material for my DOUG JOHNSON MUSEUM.

José Cruz said...

Chrisse- I have no problem plugging you for the scans and directing people to your site. I was unable to read the blog since it was in German and I don't speak or read German. I will remove the scans if you prefer.

Chrisse said...

Thank you for pointing me out! :)

Norman Hathaway said...

The interview I did with Doug has just been posted:

http://www.pictureboxinc.com/feature/id/32/

José Cruz said...

Norman Hathaway-I will blog this on Monday on the main page.
Thanx!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this stuff. I've been looking for more of Doug Johnson's work for ages. real inspiration.

Ray

www.raysmith.bz

José Cruz said...

Ray- Doug is a Super Master of Illustration and an inspiration to all.
Check out Norman Hathaway's interview with more illustration magic of Doug Johnson @ http://www.pictureboxinc.com/feature/id/32/