"My network and the people that surround me created an environment that let me be who I desire to be"
Johnny Terror is a German artist based in Tokyo since 2019. Johnny is a lover of sci-fi films, comics and brutalism. We asked Johnny a few questions to understand more about the influences on his work.
Tell us about your creative path. How did you decide to become an artist?
JT: There was never a conscious decision to become an artist. Things just somehow flowed into a singular path that led to where I am now. My network and the people that surround me created an environment that let me be who I desire to be.
You moved from Berlin to Tokyo. How did these two cities influence you?
JT: I moved to Tokyo in 2019. It’s now 2022. Berlin feels like it really is a thing of the past, also due to the fact I was not able to visit Europe during the pandemic. Tokyo has shaped me a lot as a person and an artist. I’m more creative and also personally more happy here. Very simple.
How has Japanese culture influenced you as an artist in general?
JT: Japanese culture has influenced me a lot but when I use the term “culture” I am referring to the concept of an ever-changing and self-renewing culture and society. Some people might think of Samurai, Tea ceremonies, and castles when the term “Japanese culture” is mentioned. I personally never had any interest in these things. Moreover, I find them to be fairly tacky. Japanese culture inspires me on a more daily and local level. Food, the way people behave, the language, and the creative output from Japanese artist is something that I find way more inspiring than “classical culture”.
How did your love for brutal futuristic characters in graphics start?
JT: Brutalism was put into my genetics, so to speak, spending most of my life in Berlin with its remnants of Socialist Germany. That combined with musical influences from Techno and Dark Wave kind of created a visual world for me. I have to admit, the grey depressing Winters of Berlin can be quite inspiring. But I would still never go back.
What are your 3 favorite books and 3 favorite movies?
JT: My 3 favorite books are Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - Quentin Tarantino’s book version of his own film is absolutely amazing. My recommendation: watch the movie first, then read the book. American Psycho - A masterpiece on so many levels. No need to add more to that. The Incas - The best western comic book story ever created. Literally timeless. My 3 favorite movies are Bladerunner, Akira, and 2001 Space odyssey - All 3 movies continue to inspire me to this day