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John Hornsby – Creative Ninja

John Head Shot
He can often be found chasing waterfalls.

Who he is: John is a visual artist, collector of information, lover of ideas, strategic thinker and an experienced achiever.

He loves working with purposeful people to build teams, craft creative solutions, and make the world a better place. He is proven reliable partner for working on unique and engaging creative projects.

How he is: Driven by his core strength of connectedness, he believes that there is a strong emerging synergy between improving the lives of all of our fellow humans, being responsible stewards of our environment and maximizing the bottom line in an ethical and sustainable way. He is particularly interested in how art, design and communication intersect into and support those systems, transcend boundaries and build social bridges. Often he is able to see and make connections where they may be otherwise elusive.

John believes in the old adage that form should follow function. That this is the simple key to creating effective design both in art and in business. The modern myriad of messaging outlets requires that both art and branding must adapt to be more flexible than has historically been promoted. One must learn the rules of art, design and marketing and then know how to effectively break them, with style and passion.

What he is: An artist first with a background in old school hand drawn techniques, prop and set design and a strong practical knowledge of sign craft, he is also fluent in modern computer design. His formative years were before the internet existed and he is equally comfortable with pen and brush in hand or with a mouse.  John embrace’s the warmth that hand illustrated design and crafted dimensional elements can bring while still dovetailing that into the benefits of modern technology. Having worked extensively in a variety of styles and mediums he is able to call upon many traditional styles and themes as well as deliver original modern concepts. He takes his work seriously but with a smile and a laugh.

What he does: John has had the good fortune of enjoying a truly unique life and career path on his journey to becoming an experienced art & design professional. With a strong background in environmental design specializing in signs and special events, as well as hands on experience in business development and workflow solutions he delivers the rare balance of creative artistry and business acumen. He brings to the table integrity, patience and a solid understanding of signs and graphics, three dimensional fabrication, structural design, art and illustration. A lover of music, he spent many years writing and performing in various musical groups, producing and mixing some of the albums including designing the artwork and posters as well as organizing events and promoting them. He served as director of the art department for a large special events company, leading a team of production artists to design and build all manner of dimensional props and sets, murals and environments at high volumes under extremely tight deadlines. After a stint freelancing he returned to the same event company to lead the graphic design department providing 3D environmental design of props and sets as well as art directing internal websites and print collateral. During this time he also co-operated an “underground” warehouse performance venue known as The Penthouse on the top floor of the H&H Building, well known for it’s collective of live in resident artists, galleries, performers and scene makers. His roles there ranged from construction to stage management, talent booking and installing and operating the live sound system and slinging beer. He went on from  there to work extensively in the architectural and illuminated sign industry. For a few seasons he and his wife Anilia drove an RV around the country on a marketing tour representing health insurance clients for the Medicare Part D roll out. Currently he enjoys serving as Senior Creative Consultant with FASTSIGNS of Asheville. He spent most of his life in the arts and music scene in Baltimore, Maryland  and relocated with his family to beautiful Asheville, NC in 2012.

John also serves on the Board of Directors for the Asheville Affiliates, practices martial arts at Sun Soo Martial Arts and is the host of the Embracing Equity Book Club.

John welcomes requests for freelance art & illustration commissions, design services, and enjoys collaboration with other creatives to make awesome sauce from ingredients such as:

  • Design of environmental signs and graphics.
  • Graphic design for corporate clients as well as anti establishment makers of albums, gig posters and propaganda.
  • Logo and Typography design – both hand drawn and computer based, often a combination of both.
  • Illustration & Visual Art – painting, pen and ink drawing, digital, watercolor, various mediums by commision.
  • Faux finishing, hand painting & murals.
  • 3D object design / build & set design (stage & film).
  • Musician (electric bass & guitar primarily but he has been know to play drums, saxophone, mandolin, synth, am radio and cordless drill.)
  • Audio recording and mixing both live and in the box. Musical and/or conversational, environmental sounds.

When not typing in the third person, John has this to say to prospective clients and collaborators: “Being a family man and working full time, I’ll admit I am selective with my limited time. For sign related projects I work exclusively through FASTSIGNS Asheville. For other art and design inquiries use the contact form on this site.  Depending on my schedule and interest in your project, I may be available to collaborate or get to work for you. If interested in working with me, let’s talk.”

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