John Roderick Paine is a Sydney based cartoonist and animator and completely self taught. For a long time, he has been inspired by the random stuff that you see on YouTube and cartoons from his childhood like Red and Stimpy and other current cartoons like The Regular Show and Gumball.
From a young age, cartoons and drawing them, preoccupied his mind. With the invention of the internet and technology, his love of cartoons and animations continued to grow. While inspired by the strange and the things that are beyond the norm, he is also inspired by giving a story to things that don’t necessarily have one.
‘My mother told me when I was a little kid, all I did was draw and draw and when my hand got tired I’d switch hands and continue drawing. You can do anything with cartoons and there is so much imagination involved,’ John said.
‘I create out of boredom, I need to be doing something. I can’t just sit there. I find if I go for too long without creating something I start to go insane. I just need to make stuff.’
Many creatives need to understand that not all art needs to have a purpose or explore certain concepts or ideas. Love and passion is purpose enough, creating because you enjoy what you do is by far more important than being creative only when you have a concept or message. Relax. Create. Surprise yourself.
‘I quote Billy Madison, I drew the duck blue because I wanted to see a blue duck. A few years ago some of my work was more to get a reaction out of people. To do something completely absurd that people had to do a double take,’ John said.
‘And a lot of the stuff that I make is just to make my sisters laugh. So if they think it’s funny then it’s a success to me, so there is a lot of inside jokes that no one will ever really get.’
We all have a different approach to our art. Your create process will be different to someone else’s and that is okay. The beautiful thing about creativity is that there is no one way of going about things. Explore, play, think outside of the box and get in touch with your true creative self.
‘I’d say, 90 percent of the stuff that I think of don’t end up getting made because I think they are just too stupid, even for me,’ John said.
‘But sometimes, something will stick in my head long enough, where I will actually have enough time to sit down and actually make it.’
‘It just starts off as a random idea than I will write it down and draw it a few hundred times and if it still sticks and I think it’s funny, I either animate it or turn it into something.’
With cartoons and animations, the possibilities of what could be done is infinite as you are not limited to the physics of the real world. John is pushing cartoons to the limit by taking them off the internet and placing them into the real world.
‘A lot of people nowadays, are mainly focused online, especially the animation community. They’ve got their YouTube accounts and their websites,’ John said.
‘Whereas I am trying to pull it more into the real world, with these Paine Pals, that I created. It’s a form of street art but not really because it’s not graffiti, I guess it’s more littering than anything.’
John created Paine Pals, little characters that he draws and leaves them out in public in the hopes that people find them and share them. So essentially, he has gotten these characters off of the internet and into the real world.
‘I finished a really big animation project and was sick of looking at a screen because my eyes were hurting so bad and so I wanted to get back to basics, paper and pen,’ John said.
‘People focus inwards too much, because they are small and I hide them in places, if people are a bit observant, they will find them. So people will look at where they are going and be more observant of what is around them.’
Many creatives understand that if you do not create and share your work than you are closing yourself off to opportunities. With social media, it is now easy for artists to share their work instantly.
John got the opportunity to create an animated music video for the Arias in 2013 when one of his friends posted one of his cartoons on Facebook, as part of a project called, ‘Music Matters’.
‘The premise is that, each year a selection of students from about 2000 schools write a song with a famous Australian artist. I think that year it was Katie Noonan, to help kids get into music,’ John said.
‘I created a music video for that and then that was uploaded to YouTube where all the kids learnt the lyrics and watched the video and I think 200,000 kids all sang it on that one day.’
A highlight in John’s career was when he got the opportunity to create a music video in 2014 for Joe Cartoon, a cartoonist and comic artist. Joe Cartoon was actually one of the reasons why John got into animations and animating.
‘I animated one of his songs [titled: Cousin] on his album and he really loved it. It was a really big deal, this guy who I idolise and is the reason why I am doing this, enjoyed what I made for him, it was really cool,’ John said.
‘I am really proud of it because I wanted it and I was so happy to have that opportunity. It was the reason that I got it done so quickly and well. If you love what you do, it’s not really work.’
John has gained a strong online following with over six million views across YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit and Coub. One of John’s first animated video went viral, titled David does dishes. The video ended up on the front page of Reddit and is currently sitting on over 400,000 views on YouTube.
With this, came controversy and a realisation that life is too short to be stuck in a job that was not adding to his happiness and enjoyment.
‘David does dishes, it’s basically a big guy called David, who has to do the dishes and he literally does the dishes. Then this porno music plays and he starts dry humping the dishes,’ John said.
‘I was in IT at a school and the kids got a hold of it and watched it on YouTube, which wasn’t appropriate for children. The principal found out it was me and he wanted me to take it off the internet. I can’t be held responsible because parents aren’t monitoring their children’s access on YouTube. I ended up getting fire.’
‘But it was at that point where I thought, I am done with It. I am done with boring jobs. I need to do what I love doing, cartoons and animations, and throw myself fully into that.’
Early this year, John was contacted by Fostered, an artist collective, where they help artists get their work out there. An agency for creatives that paves the way to success by removing any obstacles that may get in the way.
‘They are sort of helping me to get myself out there a bit more. Letting me know about competitions and festivals that I could enter. They keep me in the loop of what’s going on,’ John said.
John is going to be creatively busy, working on more animations and cartoons, he is also working on a game that will involve his Paine Pals and he also has ides for a comic and a pilot to get done. Keep an eye out on his website for an upcoming exhibition that he is working towards.
‘I have many ideas and so little time to do it all. I just need to figure out what I can get done and what I want to do first,’
‘I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where I’ll be like, ‘Yep, cool, I’ve achieved it,’ because I will always be making stuff, my goal is to just never stop.’
If you want to find out more about John and his work and to watch his animations, you can visit www.johnroderickpaine.com for links to his YouTube and Vimeo pages or alternatively you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and www.fostered.com.au .
‘Creating keeps me going. As long as I’m creating something, it gives you that God-like feeling, it’s hard to believe,’ John said.
‘It’s like, I made this come to life, especially through animation. You kind of feel that way about yourself, it’s really good. It just feels good to be making stuff.’