Hello, I’m John Karel ( jjjjjohn ) a freelance computer animator based in Philadelphia. I primarily make low-poly gifs but also dabble in drawing and painting.
Have you always been a creative person and what has lead you on this path to where you are today?
I wouldn’t say I was ever any more creative than the average kid growing up, but took to art class in high school which led me to art school for college and then towards a pursuit to make a living off of making art.
More than anything I’m a fan of creative work and think about art a lot, which leads me to make art and hopefully be a creative person.
You’ve often tied your art work and projects into social humanitarian awareness. How do you feel the internet and creators are able to impact larger audiences to make change happen?
The internet, and social media specifically, spreads ideas very effectively… so it only makes sense that it can be used for the greater good. Taking a clear side on a social issue, and raising money for a cause in the process, seems like the bare minimum of what any person in my situation should do.
ABOLISH ICE Sticker (All proceeds go to RAICES) Dusty-Cat
Talk to me about Dinoburg. What was the inspiration behind branching away from your skeleton characters and starting a new mini series around dinosaurs working fast-food? And why is Loopy the triceratops the only employee who is ever actually working!
Haha Loopy does take the job most seriously, but I’d like to think the rest get some work in too, they’re just more laid back. For a couple of years I made work every week for Super Deluxe, the now defunct internet comedy/meme/whatever company, using a dinosaur and alien character. Dino burgs is my attempt to replace that regular non-skeleton character work. My skeleton gifs each usually stand alone and don’t have a standard location or follow any sort of plot, and with the dinos I’m trying to create a little world to regularly use and expand on.
What is a new skill you’ve added into your process recently?
I’m always learning how to do new things and use different techniques within the 3d software I use (Blender). Like recently learned how to make realistic clouds and soap bubble materials… learning through various youtube tutorials. What makes 3d animation, and probably any art medium, so fulfilling is the never ending new techniques to learn and incorporate.
You’re a very diversified creator, your skeleton characters have been instilled in internet history, you have released multiple sticker apps, and have used merch as social contributions. What are some projects you are working on or would like to work on in the future?
I have a long on-going choose your own adventure style project with my friend Gavin Riley that we hope to wrap up soon. Other than that I hope to paint and draw more.
Yeehaw Skelly Animated Stickers iOS App
What’s one piece of advice or encouragement to other creators out there?
Best advice I can give is to just make a lot of work. The best way to get better at something is to do it over and over and over, and creative work is no exception.
It’s also important to be around other creative people, try to surround yourself with the type of people you’d like to be.