Who is Eric Joyner?
Eric Joyner is an American artist, best known for his oil paintings featuring toy robots and donuts. His playful nostalgic work draws is inspired by vintage pop culture.
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Facts About Eric Joyner
- Eric Joyner was born 1960 in San Mateo, California, US.
- He grew up in California, and in Medford, Oregon.
- As a child, he enjoyed reading comics, particularly Mad, Creepy, and Eerie. He also liked reading newspaper comic strips.
- He has four siblings.
- He took painting lessons with his sister at the local recreation centre, and was impressed by an exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh paintings at San Franciso’s de Young Museum.
- When he was in 4th grade, one of his pictures (inspired by the work of Picasso) was chosen to be exhibited in a travelling art show.
- In the 1980s, Eric Joyner attended San Francisco’s Academy of Art. He was taught by Francis Livingstone, Bill Sanchez, Robert Hunt, and Kazuhiko Sano.
- After graduating, he worked as a commercial illustrator and joined the San Franciso Society of Illustrators. Some of his work involved creating artworks for videogame packaging. He created the cover art for several games including Realm of Impossibility, Archon II: Adept, and Tales of the Unkown Volume I: The Bard’s Tale.
- He also worked for advertising agencies, card companies, and publishers of educational books and resources.
- In 2000, he decided to concentrate on painting things he liked. He began four series of paintings, each focused on a different theme – the city of San Francisco, Japanese-style tin robots, newspaper cartoons, and Mexican masks.
- Robots proved to be the most popular of the four elements, and, inspired by the movie Pleasantville in which the Jeff Daniels character paints a still-life of donuts, and influenced by the artist Wayne Thiebaud who paints pastries, Eric Joyner introduced donuts into his own work. Donuts are often depicted as the nemesis of the robots.
- He collects vintage toy robots and spaceships, and owns more than 300 pieces.
- George Lucas (the creator of Star Wars) is a big fan of Eric Joyner’s work, and he owns several of his paintings. So is the director JJ Abrams.
- Eric Joyner’s paintings have appeared as part of the set of The Big Bang Theory TV show.
- The Ben Fold Five album The Sound of the Life of the Mind (2012) features artwork by Eric Joyner.
- He has named Degas, Manet, Monet, Grant Wood, Dean Cornwell, David Hockney, JC Leyendecker, NC Wyeth, F Frazetta, Norman Rockwell and Vincent Van Gogh as some of his influences.
- He enjoyed reading Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell, and he loves old literature.
- His three favourite types of donuts are apple fritters, French Crullers, and a simple glazed donut.
- He enjoys playing ping pong and pool.
- His three favourite movies are War of the Worlds (the George Pal version), Robinson Crusoe on Mars, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- He enjoys collecting art, and he owns works by Shawn Barber, Lou Lima, Francis Livingstone, El Coro, Terry Hoff, Kim Cogan, Jennifer Hansen, Derek Lynch, Jane Kim, Jessica Hess, and Kevin Keul.
- He has a studio in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco.
What is Eric Joyner’s creative process?
Once he’s come up with the concept for a painting, Eric Joyner takes photos of some robot toys from his collection and produces some sketches. He paints on a baltic birch board covered with gesso. He used to under-paint with acrylic paints and then use oil paints on top, but now he uses just il pain, working from dark to light and background to foreground. About two weeks after the work is completed, the painting is varnished.
He is able to produce approximately 20 paintings every year.
His art style is sometimes referred to as Pop Surrealism.