ArtistWorks Blog

Profiles in Online Learning: Johnny Utah, Art Student

It's a great feeling when as a student you're able to impress the teacher. One of Justin BUA's art students sent him this portrait drawing - which if you notice is made up entirely of hundreds (thousands?) of the little "BUA"s. Incredible! BUA posted the picture from his Facebook page, where it's gotten a ton of feedback and positive praise from people all over the world. We reached out to the artist, who's been studying how to draw with BUA's online art lessons for a couple months now, and we're very excited to showcase him in our latest edition of "Profiles in Online Learning."

justin bua portrait by johnny utah

AW: How old are you and what should we call you?

JU: My name is Johnny Utah and Yikes I’m 36!

AW: Where are you from?

JU: Born in Seoul, Korea and moved out to the US in 1981. I have been living in La Habra, California since then.

pointilism bob marley

AW: How many years have you been drawing? Who first inspired you to learn how to draw?

JU: Off and on since I was 5 years old. I definitley get it from my mom as far as being artistic. My first love for art came when I discovered Vincent Van Gough.

AW: Your portrait of BUA is very life-like. Have you ever taken drawing lessons before? Where did you learn how to draw people?

JU: I can sketch and draw anything I see. It’s always been easy for me but challenging when I have to create abstract pieces. I'm hoping to learn that from Mr. Bua. I had basic lessons in grade school. Then in high school I met Mrs. Ellen Gumucio, Rest In Peace Mrs. G! She didn’t teach me how to draw but to look at Art in a different way and her energy was uplifting.

AW: How long did it take you to draw BUA? What medium did you use?

JU: It actually only took a few hours. Sketching his face took longer than writing his name inside. It started off me just doodling his name inside his face and then the light bulb went off in my head. It was right after I watched one of Bua’s online lessons. Sometimes the spontaneous inspired art is the best. It’s like song writing if you’re a musician. The best songs are written in minutes.

AW: Have you done any other portraits of other famous people?

JU: Yes, I just finished a pointillism piece of Bob Marley. I also recently got into some pyrography and burned three skateboarding legends on a blank skateboard. I'm really proud of those!

AW:You mention on your ArtistWorks profile that you were "trying to get into the music industry." Can you tell us a little about that, what instruments do you play?

JU: I quit trying to make a living playing music. My main instrument is the guitar. I’ve had some local success with live and studio work but it is a dirty business and it sucked all the fun out of it. I really enjoy Jazz and Soul music. Abstract art is very similar to Jazz. Improvising and thinking outside of the box is key.

AW: How did you find out about BUA's Online Art Lessons? How long have you been one of his online students?

JU: I follow Mr. Bua on Instagram. I heard about it there. I just joined a month or two ago.

AW: What's your favorite part of learning how to draw online with ArtistWorks?

JU: I was blown away by the website. The whole idea is very clever and the price is totally affordable. People like me who work 6 days a week don’t have the time to go to an Art School. You’re really paying for private lessons from the comfort of your home. The Video Exchange concept is so awesome. You can take your iPad anywhere and watch it.

AW: How long have you been a fan of BUA's art?

JU: For many years now. We share the same love. I was a BBoy back in the day. I grew up listening to Old School Hip Hop,Jazz funk. Played street ball with the neighborhood kids. I can relate to all his art. What makes his art even better is the person he is. This list can go on forever.

AW: How does it feel to have BUA as a fan of your work now?

JU: I’m still wiping the tears of joy as we speak.

AW: How would you describe your drawing style?

JU: Realistic for now but I want to start challenge myself with more abstract art.

Watch BUA's Free Art Lessons

AW: How are the drawing lessons going? Do you have a favorite? Have you submitted anything for BUA to critique?

JU: Good so far. I’m actually getting married soon so I only get to put in a few hours a week. After 10-5-2013 I am going to put in a lot of practice and studying. I will absorb everything Mr. Bua puts out on the art lessons.

AW: What would you tell someone who wanted to learn how to draw? What's the first things they need to know about drawing?

JU: I learned both in music and in art not to be scared of what people might say. We all lose that kid in us to create freely. Just start with the fundamentals and have fun.

AW: Anything else you'd like to say to all the readers out there?

JU: Thanks for the love and support and JOIN Justin Bua’s online art lessons!

AW: Where can people go to find out more about you?

JU: You can find me on Instagram @imjohnnyutah. I am currently working on a website. I don’t have enough art yet to display. I just got back into art after an 18 year break so I just have a few handful of artworks. Thank you Justin, Adam and the rest of the crew at ArtistWorks. Keep on teaching!

More Profiles In Online Learning:

I am an eternal student of art.

- Justin BUA -

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