DROOL: When do you feel you first found success in the world of art, and how have you grown since then?
John Van Horn: I first felt like I had found success as an artist a bit after I moved into my first studio and was really showing and selling my art to a lot of people for the first time. I don’t know that I have a firm definition of what success looks like for me, but I know I haven’t fully reached it yet. There have been a lot of small successes along the way which have been exciting.
DROOL: How did you discover your voice in art?
John: I guess just through trial and error in creating a ton of work and figuring out what speaks to me.
DROOL: What compels you to keep driving forward as an artist? How do you aspire to grow as an artist this year?
John: The main thing that keeps driving me forward is my need for personal growth and my love of learning. It is really exciting to complete a painting and have a feeling that you reached a new level. I want to work this year on getting more opportunities for myself to try new things like painting large-scale murals.
DROOL: What about dogs attracts you to them as subjects for your artwork?
John: I think the main thing that makes me enjoy doing illustrations of dogs is how expressive they can be. I really like the amount of character each dog has and I find it really fun to try and capture that personality in an illustration.
DROOL: Which do you prefer: dogs or people, and why?
John: I suppose dogs are probably better than people but I like them both in different ways.
DROOL: If you had to choose one dog breed to characterize who you are, what breed would it be and why?
John: I’ve owned 2 miniature schnauzers in my life and I feel like their scruffiness and quirky personalities characterize me pretty well.