FUN & FABULOUS Original Digital/Mixed Media Art created by California Artist John A. Conroy 


The Big Thrill: Showing up and showing art at SURTEX is now little more than two months away. Who’s coming from where and what will they be bringing? More newcomers offer previews of the excitement ahead.

JOHN CONROY, COOOL CATS, Los Angeles -- Award-winning artist John Conroy earned his BS degree in art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has worked as a graphic artist at a variety of firms, including the Miami Herald, Village Mews, and Camp Beverly Hills. For 25+ years, he was a touring artist on the Arts & Crafts circuit, and has seen his designs featured by such high-profile companies as Paramount, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Universal Studios (from the ‘Bob Newhart Show’ to ‘Melrose Place”), shown in Seventeen magazine, sold in Dillard’s, and licensed on pillows and dog and cat dishes. Also a member of the American Craft Council, he started his independent design firm in Venice Beach, CA, in the mid 1990s.

Q: What and who inspired your career?

A: “I was born to be an artist. My Mom was an incredible artist, singer and radio personality and my Dad was an accomplished musician who could play six different instruments, so I was surrounded by extreme creativity -- I am genetically engineered to be creative and have fun. 

“I have been doodling since I was 2 - I’m a perfect example of what happens when you never stop doodling.” 

Q: Has your art changed as you have grown in your career? 

A: “My art and style has actually been the same since I was a child. I think you are born with certain designing traits that carry on throughout your life. Of course, the digital age has made designing so much more interesting and fun…but I am from the old school. The need to feel an actual pencil or brush in my hand and to smell the ink, paint and erasures is something I will never give up.” 

Q: Obviously, your favorite subject is cats, but do you pay attention to trends? 

A: “I do love cats (but) I also keep up with current trends, mainly by just living in Los Angeles and being married to an actress who is connected to the entertainment industry and exposes me to events, parties and productions where trends are easily observed. My young son, also an actor, also exposes me to the youthful music and culture of his generation, so I have the best of both worlds when it comes to observing relevant lifestyles and trends.