Interview with Yianni Johns – Artist Profile

By Skye Jenner

An inspiring artist, Yianni Johns is originally from Karratha, WA, but now resides in NSW. His colourful oil paintings have been exhibited across the world, and even published in Art Takes Time Square.

Yianni has been drawing for as long as he can remember, artistry is in his DNA. His inability to survive without his artwork has resulted in a large accumulation of over 1,000 drawings in his collection. These range from life drawings to sketches of everyday people and objects that Johns comes across in his daily life. His spontaneous recreations of what he sees, hears and feels in the moment help him to illustrate and share the world around him.

Naturally, this penchant for drawing has developed into something more, the use of oil paint on canvas or linen. Although Yianni has attempted to use other mediums, he is always drawn back to the comfort and creative flow that he feels when working with oil paints. The vibrancy of oil is far more appealing to Johns than acrylic as it dries too fast and dulls in comparison. The slow drying capabilities of oil also allow this astounding artist to push the colours around on the canvas or linen.

In between creating oil paintings, Johns likes to use a program called ‘Procreate’ on his iPad Pro.

Yianni has had his artwork displayed in Times Square three times, in 2012, 2014, and this year in May. His work is displayed on the massive billboards and up to half a million people had the privilege of gaining a glimpse into the artist’s world.

Yianni has also had his work displayed in New York in Chelsea (2010 and 2011), Montreal (2009) and Beijing (2014).

Some of Yianni’s artistic inspirations include Jeffrey Smart, Brett Whiteley, Salvador Dali and Edward Hopper. Yianni was reported to be the new Jeffrey Smart, a title that was very flattering due to their similarity in style and Smart’s inspirational work.

Currently, Yianni is working on a series of portraits that will require a smart phone to be viewed clearly. He enjoys combining modern technology with his love of art.

If you would like to see more of Yianni’s wonderful artwork, head to


Yianni’s work will be on display at the TAP Gallery, Riley Street, Sydney from the 20th to 25th of September.

Image: Mall Angel wears PRADA by Yianni Johns.