Get an inside look into Butt Johnson’s creative process.

View progress photos of works in his exhibition Drawing Fast and Slow and pictures of his pen collection.
Read about what the artist has been reading, watching, and looking at below.

I also look at them as containing the passage of time–a quick gestural drawing and a slow, methodical fossilization of that gesture in ink on paper. I often think about “time” as a physical and philosophical quotient.

Butt Johnson

on drawing

Watching: My Brilliant Friend (havent read the books just watching the show and it’s good), Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, (has maybe the best cast of any season yet and is sooo good), and my wife and I have been watching literally a marathon of Shark Tank, which CNBC has been playing 24/7— by turns terrible and fascinating.
Reading: I listen to books while I draw, right now alternating between two books: “The Scientist in the Crib” by Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhn- I have a seven month old daughter and this book is about some of the science behind understanding childhood development. It’s fun to see some of their studies play out in real time and participate w my baby.  And “Restoration Agriculture” by Mark Shepard. This author operates a farm in wisconsin and is trying to rethink agriculture to base our food system on perennials (trees, fruits, nuts, shrubs, etc) rather than annuals (grass based grains). It’s an interesting theory and does seem to make way more sense from a sustainable and economic standpoint. Great book! I wish I didn’t love noodles, pizza and beer so much lol.
Art: I’m a works on paper nerd and have been using my instagram feed as a way to learn more about drawing past and present across cultures. Recent discoveries include late 19th century “Tantric Yantra” grids from India, early color abstraction intended for focusing attention, a folio of drawings made by Sioux children in captivity at Fort Yates, North Dakota in 1913, and some of Edvard Munch’s drawings and etchings depicting figures looking out of sunny windows in dark rooms, seems relevant lol.

Also view artist Maria Calandra’s Pencil in the Studio feature on Butt Johnson, in which she draws his work space.