A little about myself might be in order. My name is John Robert Wohland. I grew up in Bayside Queens NYC on huge block of garden apartments. It was a rich environment for a creative kid with plenty of playmates on hand. This said, I'd often rather stay indoors making something, be it a drawing or a model of something. I always loved drawing and painting but my only impression of how to get paid for it was from seeing the poor artists with their paintings propped up on the curb of the bank parking lot. It never seemed like an option until I stumbled upon B.O.C.E.S vocational school in H.S. Their Advertising Art program took up just enough of my spare time to keep me out of trouble since I had just moved out to Long Island and was a bit "displaced". There was no looking back as soon as I had an idea I could make a living doing something I truly loved to do.
I went on to two years at SUNY Farmingdale, got an AS in Applied Science? Yup... Well, I would have went for a couple of years at SVA, but my professors suggested I go right to work, and that I'd learn more. So, after my first interviews (girlfriend's Father was an Art Director at N.W.Ayer by TOTAL coincidence), I redid my entire porftolio over the course of a month because no one mentioned there was such a thing called "storyboards"in college. I was 19 years old
Well, my first interview was at GEM studio, but I wasn't ready. I got a job at Agency Art Associates which was a very nurturing environment. I was able to make my mistakes, but find my way. I was fortunate to work side by side with wily veterans like Bob Tremaine and Tony Grimando. I was also just a door down from Eric Watts, who turned out to be a huge inspiration for me.
I worked there for 3 years and got at least a little bit of an identity on my own. Enough, so that I was able to land the job I really wanted at GEM, with a little more experience under my belt. I knew it was brutal in some ways, but it was the place to be and learn. Well I worked at GEM for 16 years along side some of the greatest artists and people in our business learning and growing everyday. We figure with the hours we worked, that's about 32 in "people years".
It seemed like high time to commit some of my story and my work to the blogosphere.
Thanks for looking,
Artwork post to follow soon!