Jono Wood is something of an enigma. Insanely talented both as an athlete and an artist, a self-proclaimed “quiet loner”, and yet a creator of art and graphics so bold and striking they make you stop in your tracks to take a second look.
This Brit who now calls the mountains of Morzine, France home, is also a passionate advocate for the protection of wildlife and the nature around us. No wonder our paths crossed!
Jono recently created a limited edition graphic collection for Mizu that draws attention to three amazing ocean dwellers that are now under threat from the abundance of plastic in our oceans: turtles, polar bears, and whales.
We took five to check in with Jono and ask a few questions about his work, his inspiration, and WHY HE ALWAYS WRITE IN ALL CAPS.
We know you as a previous pro-snowboarder, cyclist, passionate wildlife advocate, and, obviously, artist. Who is Jono Wood, in your own words?
HMM A TOUGH ONE. I THINK I AM BIT OF A QUIET LONER. PASSIONATE ABOUT THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME LIKE FRIENDS AND FAMILY. WITH SO MANY GREAT ARTISTS OUT THERE I HAVE NEVER BEEN ONE TO SING MY OWN PRAISES BUT HUMBLED BY THE PEOPLE AND BRANDS WHO HAVE BEEN WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON ME AND MY WORK.
We've followed your art for years and love how striking and balanced it always seems. How would you describe your personal style?
I WOULD SAY I AM BEST KNOWN NOW FOR HAVING A CLEAN BOLD GEOMETRIC STYLE. I HAVE DABBLED IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY ASPECT OF ART GROWING UP. I STUDIED ANIMATION AT ART COLLEGE AND ALTHOUGH A LOT OF MY CURRENT WORK IS DIGITAL I FEEL MY REAL PASSION LIES IN ROLLING MY SLEEVES UP AND PAINTING ON CANVAS. IT DOES HOWEVER TAKE A LOT OF WORK SOMETIMES TO MAKE SOMETHING LOOK SO CLEAN, SIMPLE AND CRISP.
You are passionate about wildlife and nature. Tell us more about that...
I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO GROW UP IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AND MY LOVE OF ANIMALS STEMMED FROM THERE AND WAS PASSED DOWN FROM MY PARENTS. GROWING UP MY MUM ESPECIALLY WAS ALWAYS CONVINCING MY DAD TO TAKE IN WAIF AND STRAY ANIMALS. WE HAND-REARED DUCKS IN THE KITCHEN AND SAVED SHEEP FROM GOING TO THE ABATTOIR.
NOW, SPENDING THE MAJORITY OF MY TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS I LOVE SEEING THE EAGLES SOARING ABOVE MY HOUSE AND JUST KNOWING THERE IS SO MUCH WILDLIFE ALL AROUND ME. I CAN JUST ESCAPE ON MY BIKE OR RIDE SOME POWDER AND WITHIN MINUTES FEEL COMPLETELY ISOLATED WITHIN NATURE.
What's the backstory behind the graphics on the Mizu x Jono Wood graphic bottles?
CHATTING WITH CRAIG AT MIZU EUROPE WE WANTED TO CREATE A SERIES OF BOTTLES THAT NOT ONLY LOOKED BEAUTIFUL BUT ALSO GAVE A SUBTLE NOD TO THE IMPACT WE ARE HAVING ON SOME OF THOSE MOST ICONIC SPECIES IN OUR OCEANS. I MUST SAY THE EXECUTION OF THE PRINT ON THE BOTTLES IS JUST STUNNING. I AM VERY HONORED TO HAVE MY NAME ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. IF I HAD TO CHOOSE I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THE WHALE IS MY FAVORITE. THE ICY POWDER BLUE ON THE V6 REALLY POPS.
You've created graphics for some great brands over the years, such as Capita Snowboards, Nike, and Habitat Skateboards. Are you selective about who you work with
YEAH IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME TO WORK TOGETHER WITH BRANDS THAT I TRULY BELIEVE IN AND ADMIRE AND PROJECTS THAT CAPTURE MY IMAGINATION.
IT IS ALWAYS GREAT TO DESIGN PRODUCTS THAT I ACTUALLY USE MYSELF.
What's your go-to Mizu product?
I’M AN AVID COFFEE LOVER. RIGHT NOW MY GO-TO HAS TO BE THE THERMAL TUMBLER [ TUMBLER 16 ]. IT IS CERTAINLY A DAILY STAPLE ON MY DESK.
Final question: what's with the ALL CAPS?! (if you follow Jono, you'll see that he always writes in CAPS)
GROWING UP I STRUGGLED WITH DYSLEXIA. ART WAS ALWAYS AN ESCAPE FROM ‘THE RULES’ ASSOCIATED WITH READING AND WRITING BUT AT SCHOOL I COULD NOT ESCAPE THE RESTRAINTS OF THEM. THAT WAS, UNTIL STUDYING BIOLOGY. DURING MY GCSEs MY TEACHER WROTE EVERYTHING OUT ON THE BOARD IN CAPITALS. I JUST COPIED IT LIKE FOR LIKE AND HE NEVER MARKED ME DOWN.
SO I HAVE DONE IT EVER SINCE FOR MANY MANY YEARS. IT IS OFTEN MISCONSTRUED AS SHOUTING BUT AS SHOCKING AS IT IS TO SAY, THIS WAS BEFORE THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA EVEN EXISTED! MY FREEHAND WRITING IS ALSO CAPITALIZED.