We had the good fortune of connecting with John Peralta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always had a keen interested in art and engineering. For most of my life it was only a casual interest, as work and family left me little time for it. I also never seriously considered the possibility of being a professional artist. But as I approached forty, I became more aware of the urgency of time. I also went through some difficult personal experiences, which drove me further to find a creative outlet through art. Finally, it was a comment from a client of mine about one of my early paintings that gave me the final push I needed.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Although I’ve had a life-long interest in art and design, I have no formal training in art. I grew up moving from place to place living with distant relatives and spending many years in communes. In many ways, commune life is antithetical to creativity. Conformity and group cohesion are valued over individual thought. So it took many years after leaving the commune life for me to become fully comfortable in my own skin. For a self-taught artist, the art world can feel very intimidating and more than a little pretentious. Over time and with the encouragement of friends and a couple kind gallery owners, I came understand that my life experience could be an asset, rather than a disadvantage. Indeed the practical skills I learned in the communes have enabled me to do my unique style of art. Through my work I hope people can see these old machines as more than disposable tools, or charming props. Rather, they still hold the memories of those who once used them. And if we take time to be still and listen, we might be able to hear what they have to tell us.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite places and activities include the Huntington Library and Gardens in Old Pasadena. Picnicking and watching a movie on the lawns at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Exploring the secret haunted places of Laurel Canyon. Walking the Sunset Strip. Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Rainbow, and Viper Room. Eating Sushi at Irori in Marina del Rey. Walking the UCLA campus. Driving the length of Mulholland on my motorcycle. And of course, spending time at LACMA and the Culver City galleries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family, and particularly my wife Michelle, have been my source of support and inspiration. I’m also lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends.