Weirdness is a requirement
“A cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind”, Jon’s mother used to say. And quite frankly, listening to the artist and illustrator Jon Burgerman leaves no doubt that he is fueled by a chaotic mind, empowered by crazy ideas, and has the ability to make wonderfully weird drawings out of it. “I am very confused and distracted sometimes”, he says about himself, and with this honesty, he wins the audiences hearts entirely.
Grown up in Nottingham, now working and doodling in New York City (right next to Tina Roth-Eisenbergs new co-working space!), Jon creates characters and worlds through an eclectic style of bold outlines and colours. He doesn’t start his work with a solid concept, but rather begins just somewhere and is curious where his doodling will take him.
It’s great to create
With this workflow, Jon makes artworks out of anything: Little scribbles during phone calls, huge wall murals filled with his characters, costumes, street art and installations. In his recent exhibition “Burgerworld”, he solely filled a room with props to let people create and share little stories through his art. Jon says that he wants his artwork to be “out there”; it shouldn’t collect dust. People are free to adopt it and do whatever they want with it. Participation will activate people to create crazy stuff.
Jon is, in a way, a fan of imperfection. His work reflects his love for coincidences; for accidents. “If you can’t be good, be different.” So, what’s behind the story with the ferret? It basically is a symbol for happy accidents — things that appear out of nowhere and ask you to react quickly and spontaneously.
The story with the ferret
This is his guidance to live through it:
First: Improvise. There won’t be any time to make big plans. Second: Make use of what you have at this very moment. Third: Ignore failure – perfection is not always the point of doing things. And finally, fourth: Create a new game out of this accident. Make it yours, and invite people to play with you. Happy accidents are the key to innovation. Happy accidents are ferrets.
But how the story goes exactly? Maybe Jon will tell you in his next conference talk. If you get the chance to see him, you should not miss out!
Illustrator (New York)