All About Jon Laing
With a heart full of existential nihilism, and a mind full of ADHD and anticapitalist propaganda, Jon Laing has existed on the fringes of corporate tech, the art industries, and crowded dive bars for the last 15 years of his meandering career. Trained as an illustrator at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he recently rejected working in freelance publishing, and instead veered more towards individual commissions and fine arts.
Jon started his career in the prestigious industry of theme park caricatures at Six Flags: Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Drawing live for 40 hours per week for the park's patrons gave him a knack for lightning fast draftsmanship, and nagging misanthropic tendencies. During his time, he received such accolades as, "That don't look like him," "Damn you fucked me up," and "How did you even get this job?"
With his now hardened sensitivity for criticism, Laing was ready for art school. There, he was nominated for several juried competitions, and got either second place or honorable mentions; which ever was the best one could do without getting any scholarship money.
Jon graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Illustration, and a bank account best suited for buy-one-get-one-free specials at the local taco stand. Strapped for cash, he turned to freelance web design to supplement his income until his illustration career took off. That plan blew up in his face.
Following a brief stay on the concrete at Dilworth Plaza during the Occupy Movement in Philadelphia, Laing sought career success in NYC. That also didn't work out. While taking a job as a software engineer meant that he could afford full priced drinks, it took up a lot of his drawing and painting time. He was able to land a couple jobs in no-name publications, and one spot illustration in Penthouse (March 2015), but momentum was hard to come by.
In the fall of 2019, Jon quit his lucrative position as a Senior Software engineer, leaving the industry altogether stating, "Oh my god, I hate this so much. I'd rather be broke." Burnt out, depressed, and completely without direction, Jon began drawing again, just simple doodles at first to sarcastically cope with his multitude of emotional issues. From there the doodles became fan art, and from there the fan art became original illustrations, and then finally large scale oil paintings, taking advantage of the COVID lockdowns to focus on his craft.
Now, with his adderall prescription, and renewed love for the craft, Laing is worming his way back into the art industry having learned very little from previous missteps.
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, BFA Illustration, 2011
2021 – Fusion Art, “7th Annual Figures & Faces Art Competition”, Online Competition
2021 – Dodomu, “Faces and Places”, Online Competition
2021 – Fable Jones Studios, “November”, New York City, NY, USA
2021 – DorDor Gallery, “The 100”, New York City, NY, USA
2021 – AHA Fine Arts, “Summer Salon”, New York City, NY. USA
2021 – Fable Jones Studios, “Spring Exhibition”, New York City, NY. USA
2020 – Sundance 2020, “Fan Art Gallery”, New York City, NY. USA
2013 – Output, “Kaleidoscope”, New York City, NY. USA
2013 – Chapterhouse, “The Winter”, Philadelphia, PA. USA
Publications and Media
“House of Waltz”, Independent film, June 2021
“The Green Issue” Penthouse Magazine. March 2016. Page 73
Honors and Awards
Best in Show (Traditional), Fusion Art 7th Annual Figures & Faces, December 2021
Best Mood, Proko Challenge, August 2020
Honorable Mention, Ely Juried Exhibition, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 2011