FLEAKIN' OUT WITH The Bungaloo
John Vogl, the man behind the elusive Bungaloo, first got his work into the world by designing posters for friends in bands. Now, he creates transportive art across mediums—dreamy, otherwordly scenes and detailed, immaculate illustrations that can be found translated into concert art, home adornment, and advertising campaigns.
What does The bungaloo mean to you?
The Bungaloo itself is a nonsense name—I’m a junior, and I think my name is kind of boring, so I didn’t want to work under John Vogl. It was nice, because when I was first starting to do any of this I didn’t really know where it was going to go. I wanted to do concert posters, I knew I wanted to do that—but eventually I wanted to get into illustration work, too. I was fresh out of school and I was doing this as a moonlighting project, and I was doing concert posters for friends in bands for free beer and high fives. It was a fun way to get work out there, but I didn’t really know I’d do t-shirts, I didn’t know I’d be doing any of the retail stuff, or even any of these markets—it was nice to have something that I could do in the background and see where it went.
QUICK FACT #1
Limited edition concert posters, illustrations, and art prints.
QUICK FACT #2
Designed with imagination, screen-printed by hand.
QUICK FACT #3
Art with a wild side.
WHAT'S A DAY IN THE STUDIO LIKE?
A lot of times it’s desk drawing, a lot of it’s labor hours involved—all the artwork I do is by hand, it’s mostly pen-and-ink so it’s very slow, but it’s also slow which is what gives my work the particular look and charm it has. I try to avoid spending the whole day doing emails, but being self-employed means I do everything from taking out the trash to making artwork—it’s a lot of long hours, and I find I work at night a lot. It’s usually good drawing time because it’s generally uninterrupted. I usually set aside one day to fulfill orders, a lot of it’s like any other job: you run your business, you put together estimates; then in your spare time, you get to make artwork.
You've worked on projects from concert posters to art prints—where did you start?
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, but concert posters were my foot in the door for everything I’m doing now. The best piece of advice on working on that sort of art was that it was basically like a large business card that someone wanted to hang on their wall—people would see my work and ask what other mediums I worked on, and I’ve been fortunate in being able to grow from there. Those were a labor of love.
DO YOU FIND YOURSELF WORKING WITH CERTAIN COLORS?
It’s funny, I do get friends and family especially who will point out my use of ‘Bungaloo blue’—it’s not a conscious thing, but it’s a green-blue that I put on a lot of things. I guess I just settle into that color a lot. I also use a lot of muted colors, and a lot of softer tones.
YOUR MOST INTERESTING PRODUCT TO DATE?
There’s one project in the works that would involve painting a motorcycle. If it happens, it will be painting and drawing individual pieces and panels. There was one time when I was working on a project with Vibram and the ‘finger shoes’ were a new up and coming product—the whole thing was centered around naked running, so there was a male and female model, and it was for a website where you’d click on different parts of the body and different phrases would pop up—some were temporary tattoos, some were illustrations. That was definitely something I would have never imagined happening. I got to design some backpacks, little fanny-pack type bags, and that was a random project I didn’t see coming along. There’s a lot in the works—and like anything else, you’re always hoping that your best projects are around the corner.