Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Interview with EHAG Artist - John Randall York

John Randall York

EHAG Artist, John Randall York, has worked as a giftware designer with S&D Limoges, Lenox China, The Hamilton Collection, Fitz&Floyd and Faroy and the famous Christmas Store of Tyler, Texas. John's giftware has sold through Neiman-Marcus, Gump's, Nordstrom, Walt Disney World, Jefferson's Monticello Collection and other wonderful outlets, including Ebay! Five of John's porcelain boxes were featured in The Decorative Art of LIMOGES Porcelain & Boxes by Keith and Thomas Waterbrook-Clyde.

How long have you been creating Halloween Themed Art?
I think since the late 1980’s/ 1990’s. I was creating seasonal displays for a large local “Christmas Store” and the owner asked me to design a Haunted House within the Christmas Store to market Halloween merchandise ( it was sort of new and novel then). He sent me to Market Center/World Trade Center in Dallas to vist the Sylvestri and Department 56 showrooms to see the merchandise that would be in the store. When I got there I was really blown away by the Fitz & Floyd showroom windows and by the beautiful Halloween and Christmas tabletop and giftware. I came back to Tyler, Texas and made the haunted house for the Christmas Store (a dream project at the time) but I couldn't forget the beautiful majolica produced by Fitz & Floyd.
A little later I went back to the Trade Center in Dallas and found that the Fitz & Floyd’s headquarters was in Dallas and the showroom people graciously gave me the name of the VP in charge of design… I went called him and he invited me to show him some drawings… the next thing I new I was calling my wife from Tai restaurant exclaiming “They want me to design some giftware!” So I began a crazy journey that re-convinced me over and over how limitless my love for Halloween was.

How would you describe your work?
The work I do now I would describe as straight out of the pages of old children’s books. I love the innocent magic that Autumn and Halloween inspire in children. I usually start a picture with a watercolor sky or background on illustration board then I draw on top of that and color it with pencils, ink and watercolor.
What do you consider your greatest challenge creatively?
The big creative challenge for me is to be honest about what is good and what “will do”… I get lazy and settle for too little too often. I could stand to be a little more of a perfectionist. Also, I sketch people a lot, little quick, furtive sketches at the post office, or school board meetings, the farmers’ market or Church. I call it “collecting souls”. I really want and need to have some people to sit for me so I can really study them, but I’m very shy about asking.

What are your artistic plans for the future
I want to make some large, detailed oil paintings and I have some little movies I’d like to make and books I’d like to write and illustrate and … a Halloween Guitar Album ( how can I pull that off?). What do you like best about being a member of EHAG?
I love the people in EHAG. I always get my spirits lifted when I visit our forum. I don’t know if you are like me but I tend to be such a loner that I put off logging on then when I finally do I am surprised at how much we are alike, we folks who create Halloween things.

What was your favorite childhood Halloween costume and why?
When I was probably about 7 or 8 I had a neat, satiny skeleton costume. I was kind of chubby as a kid and I remember it fitting pretty tightly! I remember wearing it on Halloween night and howling at the moon! I was into it!

Do you have any Favorite Halloween traditions?
Watching the animated film of Ray Bradbury’s THE HALLOWEEN TREE; Reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and watching (of course) “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get much inspiration from Ray Bradbury’s writings, also from old, pulp ghost stories and vampire tales and the great old horror flicks.

"Open the vault" - tell us a secret that not many people know about you

Okay, I wanted to be a Flamenco Dancer when I was a kid… if you knew me very well you would probably laugh even more at that!
John's Ebay ID is Karlorff , his work can also be found by using EHAG in your Ebay searches. To find out more about this talented EHAG artist, and to see more of his work Click on one of the following links:

John's Website

Old World Music and Gifts.