Jon Dorn is a visual artist who works in an assortment of media and genres. His varied work includes cartooning, mixed-media drawing, stop-motion animation, watercolor, film/video, installation, photography, and design.
He has published hundreds of comics, political cartoons, and illustrations, including the comic Cartland. His cartoon work has been featured at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), regionally syndicated by Gatehouse Media, exhibited at the Huret & Spector Gallery in Boston, and received a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award (2008) for editorial cartooning in a student publication.
His film work includes music videos, sketch comedy, and commercial video, as well as cinematography and camera credits on independent shorts. His music videos have been screened at events like Rhode Island Comic Con, the SENE Film, Music and Art Festival, and the Silversonic Music Video Showcase.
He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Media Art from Emerson College, Boston, and a BA in psychology from Skidmore College. He has taught film and media production at Emerson College, Bridgewater State University and Cambridge Community Television, and works extensively in the eastern Massachusetts music community as the co-owner of Brewster Productions LLC.
Artist statement: Though my work ranges from hand drawn cartoons to music videos to documentary film, it retains a thematic thread: observation and exploration through storytelling, often in search of personal psychological insight.
Comics as a medium lends itself well to this pursuit: Cartoon art presents simple abstract forms, representing familiar things like faces and objects that take on an elevated conceptual value, as opposed to that of outward realism. The space these images occupy exists in our minds, helping us to relate and apply our own attributes to them. The idea that cartoons are more relevant on a psychological level (rather than tactile or physical) appeals greatly to my desire to investigate the unconscious aspects of someone’s behavior in a given scenario. The combination of cartoon art and the narrative devices of comics make for rich storytelling opportunities. My story conception process in work like Cartland begins by looking inward, projecting my own insecurities onto the page through metaphor, or less subtly at times, and allowing the medium to help bridge the gap between the story and the meaning found by the viewer.