LONER Meets: Jon-Michael Baribault
Updated: Jun 1, 2021
Who Jon-Michael Baribault? What do you do?
My name is Jon-Michael Baribault and I create (what I like to call) “sci-fi inspired conceptual surrealism.” I mainly like to use acrylic paints, but I often create images digitally. I have recently gotten into screen printing, which has been a rewarding challenge.
Where do you pull inspiration from?
My main source of inspiration comes from the world we live in. The universe is such a strange place, and it is filled with the unknown and intangible. I have always felt the need to mentally wrestle with the concepts of both the physical and metaphysical world, and the best way for me to do that is by creating art. Creating art is also the best way for me to center myself. It helps me materialize my thoughts and feelings, and ultimately makes me feel like a more stable and better person.
Do you plan out your paintings beforehand? If so, what does that process look like?
I definitely plan my paintings before I execute them. Most of the time I will go into it with a pretty strong idea of what I am looking to accomplish, although it usually requires endless sketching and planning for me to become happy with a composition.
Once I have a composition I would like to use, I usually create several digital color studies. From there, I will transfer an image onto the surface (usually canvas or wood panel) and then it’s just a matter of getting the work done. I always make changes as a painting is being worked on, but I really like to have a pretty solid idea of everything that is going on.
What are your goals as an artist?
My main goal as an artist is to simply have enough time to be able to create and develop my ideas. Another goal of mine is to be able to work on more public art projects, such as murals. Collaborating with other artists is another thing I’m definitely interested in doing.
When, if ever, did you settle on a style? Was that intentional?
This is a tough question. Mostly because I never really felt I had a style, but more of a goal. I remember a teacher telling me that art is like a board game. You have to not only create the rules, but you have to also create the game pieces, and the game board itself. Once you do that, then you can start playing the game.
What that means to me is that the “style” of your art is just a vehicle for the message or goal you are trying to accomplish. The style can change slightly over years, or drastically overnight. It all just depends on what you are trying to say.
I am hesitant to say that I’ve settled on a style, because it is always subject to change.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into painting? Or someone looking to improve?
My advice to anybody would be to do SOMETHING everyday. Whether it is working for several hours on a serious project, organizing your tools/studio space, or just jotting down thoughts about what you’d like to be working on. Consistently keeping your head in the game is the best way to improve.
What is a medium you wish you could practice more/be better?
I would definitely like to be more prolific in printmaking. I would like to start creating CMYK screenprints and stuff along those lines. Sometimes creating a painting can be so laborious and time consuming, that by the end of it I’m sick of staring at the same image. The magic of screen printing is that you can create an image (obviously after a lot of time and preparation) virtually instantly.
Do you have any dream collaborations or artistic opportunities?
A dream artistic opportunity for me would be to paint a massive mural in the heart of a bustling city. I don’t have much of a preference as to where, but anything along those lines would be a dream come true for me.
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