“John is inspired by the people and places that he connects with, the better the connection, the more art transpires through him. John began experimenting with art when he was very young…”
-He remembers scribbling in some Walt Disney books that his mom bought for him around the age of 4. She was less than pleased. Not too much longer and he wrote the word “SHED” in huge blue letters on the side of his fathers newly built workshop. That didn’t turn out too well for him either.
DISPENNETTE BIOGRAPHY…..Later he would realize that these acts were only part of his way of acting out the inevitable. When he was 17 John’s Grandfather turned the ol barn into a woodworking center. Soon he was learning how to make gun cabinets and other fine furniture. Then one day his art intuition came into play and he started working on a project for himself that he had an “idea’ for. He took a design in his head and transcribed it into a piece of wooden art. He began to make more of these projects. He would draw the imagery on wood, cut them out with a scroll saw and sand them. Then stain them and put it all together with wood glue. There was a local western store that John became acquainted with and the manager invited him to put one of his pieces on consignment. He sold two of them almost immediately to a Wrangler Jeans rep. Not even into his 20’s yet John was selling to some critical buyers.
In the mean time John discovered that he had tapped into an ancient Egyptian art form known as Intarsia. This art form is the product of taking wood and sculpting it into a picture or design.
Next, John made an intarsia version of a Snook. It turned out fabulous. He couldn’t stop staring at it when it was done… He had no idea where this ability came from. It was at this juncture when his art really began to take root and grow in his mind.
Forging the Mind
He took the snook design he had made into wood and turned it into a tshirt design. Lol, it turned out terrible… But eventually he learned to make it right. A few years later John took that same snook design and turned it into a decal for his truck. That is when it became very apparent to John that he was definitely onto something … This was in 1997. “People were chasing me down the road while I was driving, pulling up to my vehicle at the gas station, I was pulled over by a cop in a McDonald’s parking lot just so he could find out who I was and where could he get one. Everyone wanted my decals”
John decided to turn this phenomenon into a business, so he named his design company Backcountry Designs. He sold his line of decals all over south and across the nation using web and events. He traveled all over selling his decals and meeting the public, getting feedback and galvanizing new ideas. His images of deer skulls and snook and hogs were all number one on Google images for a long time. In the midst of all that a customer whom he had been selling with as a retailer in Plant City asked John to do a mural ( large wall painting) of a deer on his building. At first he was reluctant, as he had never painted anything before, especially on the side of a building, what if it turned out bad? The owner of the building said “I’ll pay you either way… If it looks good I’ll pay you, if it looks bad I’ll pay you. ” He couldn’t go wrong and it was a personal milestone for John.
Driven by Passion
From there John took the reigns and charged ahead.
He did this for many years and got to a point where he could no longer keep up with the demand on his own. The real passion of his art was Painting. He decided to back off of the decal and tshirt making to concentrate on painting. He knew that being the best artist he could be was going to take some time and experience.
Shock and Awe
Then tragedy struck. Literally. John suffered a severe head trauma. Spending a lot of time at the hospital and then with therapists John’s future was uncertain at best. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to talk anymore.” “I was able to murmur a few words and that was it. In my mind I was thinking just as quickly as normal but the motor skills that make your mouth say words were not working. I came to a point where I felt worthless and didn’t know how to fix it. I had received a tremendous impact to the left side of my cranium. It had me down.”
John continued his therapy and received encouragement from the healthcare workers and family and friends. Then a miracle happened. While he was recuperating from his injury John began to draw. He had extra time on his hand and used it to create.
It seemed as tho he had actually gotten “better” at drawing since the incident. A short while later he began to feel more normalized and his speaking ability slowly came back.
John continued to draw and slowly got back into painting he did several murals in the area and played with a band at the Hard Rock casino, playing drums was a physical creative outlet for John and it seemed to work out nicely with his artistic schedule.
Now John is working under contract with a newly established merchandise company as he takes on more work for mural and large scale structure paintings. John has also developed a line of pallet paintings.