John De Herrera

FZAW Online Spotlight

November 2020 - February 2021

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John De Herrera

One of my tenets has always been to use traditional materials in untraditional ways. Oil pastels I melt and smear, I use an inking brayer as a paint brush, I use acrylic paint like water color paint, I use carbon pencils and blocks for semi-autonomous abstract lines. I have often asked about a tool or material—How is it used, and how might it be used? Basically, all my work has two criteria—it must float and it must glow—that’s what I’m aiming for every time I set up materials and get ready to work.

For a number of years I’d get to my studio and challenge myself—What materials are we working with today? What new technique has a shot at beauty? These days work has narrowed to colorfields and abstract drawings, both seem to find homes easily and are enjoyable to create.

Word is that developers are set to bulldoze the entire block sometime soon, so I have lots of gratitude for the years I’ve carried on here. More than once someone who has walked off with a work had told me it was going in the same room as another piece by a known artist. I have work hanging up around the world, so even if the Funk Zone transforms into something else, I feel very fortunate to have memories of a lifetime here. And if not here, then look for me on a corner with a table and folio of late work—Colorfield Arts. Someone once referred to my work as product because I’ve found homes for hundreds of pieces, that what I was offering was not fine art, but I can tell you I’m usually exhausted after a day of working. The frame of mind required while creating with an aim is work. You love it, but it’s work. As a famous painter once said, a good piece of art is equivalent to a good deed, so if I’m creating things people are happy to hang in their home—then all right—let’s see how long we can do it.”

About the Artist

John De Herrera's journey as artist started as most do, as a child, drawing and painting, but then at age ten he wrote his first poem and from there set off to uncover truth through poetry and prose. Still a practitioner of the literary arts, his studio is located at 120 Gray Avenue for the past ten years.


Born January 10, 1965, John De Herrera grew up in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas/Malibu, moved to Santa Barbara in ’89, and then graduated UCSB in ’96. He began art sales out of coffee houses and sushi bars until he acquired his art space in the Funk Zone at 120 Gray Avenue in 2010, where he sells contemporary colorfields and abstract drawings to foot traffic. He has participated in a number of FZ artist group shows and various other shows in the city.



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