We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Kordich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, why did you pursue a creative career?
I often hear the answers of people that are asked this question and giggle a bit to myself. The amount of people that proclaim that they ‘didn’t have a choice’ is a little silly. I fully understand the sentiment, but it just seems cliche at this point. All of my friends that I grew up with became engineers and programmers; it’s possibly that I could have tried that out too, god only knows. There’s no single reason as to why I became an artist, but I started at an early age, stopped, then reconnected with it again during college. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position where I can pursue my career without being bogged downs by bills and debt at an early age. Ultimately, I can continue pursuing my career probably due to the sheer amount of people that have the ‘didn’t have a choice’ mindset. Without the encouragement coming from somewhere, it’s hard to push through years that lacked any sort of feedback. The few people that cheer you on consistently mean much more than a barrage of strangers ever will.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I usually describe myself as a concept artist, illustrator, 2d artist, or character designer. Whether any of those are who I am or true to their nature, I’m not sure. Like anyone else, what I reference, what inspires me, what impacts who and what I create, and why I do it is unique to me (for those reasons combined.) The most exciting thing is never knowing when I will reach a new personal height as an artist; it could be on the next painting, in a few months, or in a year, but it really feels like something inside of you has undergone a physical change when you reach those moments. Having never “suffered” from early success, I can’t say it was easy to get to where I am, nor will it be easy to continue going to where I would ideally like to be. The entrepreneur spirit is probably not my spirit animal or anything, but I like to think I benefit a bit from it. Due to being at least adjacent to that lion sized spirit animal, I’ve had the personal drive to keep going after each failure. One of the most referenced pieces of advice is the hardest hitting to me, and it’s simply to ‘not take things personally.’ The advice applies to such an array of ideas, how one can approach things, and gives you a reason to just start over when you need to. I’m not a writer and my ideas are probably not as original as I think, but I stand by my recent ones most of the time. While it hasn’t always been this way, all of my characters and paintings within the last few years (last year in particular,) have been as thoughtful as I could possibly muster. I’ve made the effort to craft a distinct narrative to each of them that hopefully can be partially seen in the work. A large sum of them are based on various mythologies that have little twists to them, while recent ones move a bit away from that and focus more on world building.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You can see the most wonders and experience the most pleasures by simply staying home! I’m mostly kidding, but I’m also not the person to be giving this sort of advice.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While it doesn’t have much to do with my creative career specifically, most things tend to inform your creativity in one way or another. In this case, it’s the many people that I met playing online games. I’m 29 now and I’ve played plenty of online games since I was 12 or so. The most impactful people that I met were from Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft. My formative years were shaped by some of the carefree and light hearted views of people that I met on those games and I consider them to be the mentors of my life. One in particular was a friend named Drapoc, that I met on Final Fantasy XI when I was 16. He was always there to lend a hand in the game as well as give advice about life and approaching girls. Despite having had him on MySpace at the time and knowing his real name, his life was a bit shrouded in mystery. He told me and a buddy that his mom called the cops on him for being addicted to the game at one point. Some of the stories seemed a bit farfetched and he literally disappeared from my life a couple years down the line. Towards the end of knowing him, there was speculation and accusations that he purchased the account he was playing on and not the original player (which was taboo.) That didn’t really matter to me, but it’s something worth mentioning for anyone who knew either of the player(s.) Another friend from the very same game, was named Scott. I met him through another friend that was in my linkshell (similar to a guild or clan.) Scott played college football and was even drafted into the NFL; he even mentioned having been given a super bowl ring, despite not actually playing during that game. I know nothing about sports, but that’s what I remember happening. Scott offered plenty of advice over the years and was a much more positive person than me. He often pointed out my complaining and negativity, and I really need that. Scott eventually stopped playing the game when his girlfriend left him for playing too much. Reflecting back on those times, I can only think of fond memories in my online life. I’m also very thankful that my parents never called the cops on me or have had a girlfriend leave me for playing too much. Probably has come close though. In an attempt to keep it short, the others that make the cut in no particular order (that I can remember) are James, Miguel, Caroline, Haggar(?), Hussein(?), Durandal, and Departure.