Art Whore

Art Talk – John Bailey

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Wage Slaves art 005

John Bailey is an American artist most known for his stewarding of the semi autobiographic comic ‘Wage Slaves’ – a brutal and often hilarious work. The three G’s – gore, gross, and ghastly are present, with John’s coming of age in the early 1990’s also playing an important role – revealed through John’s use of hypercolor, and the very world of the comic.

When asked what he would most like to be remembered for, John states:

I would like to be remembered as another dude in the crowd that was upset because hoverboards didn’t end up happening.

(Picture below of John getting his graveyard lurk on)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Portrait 001

With two new volumes of ‘Wage Slaves’ almost ready and new project called ‘Bloodhouse’ just revealed, now is the perfect time to get to know John, by reading the Art Talk interview, below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

John Bailey – 11.15.1988

City, State n Country you’re Repping?

I am currently living in Chicago.. But I rep Namek.

Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Bailey’s pivotal moments…

Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, crime… ANYTHING man!

* age 10 – beginnings:

Pulling my dick out under my desk in 5th grade to prove to myself that my life wasn’t planned out and that at any one moment I could do any random act and it would actually happen…
Free will shit.

(Picture below of John as a child)


* age 15 – getting serious:

Online gaming and the golden age of the Internet when you could get away with anything.

* age 20 – adult mode:

Seeing a giant gold hovering orb shoot into a straight line then vanish completely over the River House Condos in Grand Rapids, MI on October 30th, 2008.
Not even trying to be cute on that one.

(Picture below of some art by John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon - Color 007

Personal motto?

Don’t really have one…
Scott Wygmans has said in the past that it’s “life ain’t shit” …But I don’t even know if I’ve ever said that before…
Maybe it would be “Good enough”.

Favorite band(s)?

Aphex Twin

Favorite TV show(s)?

TNG and Dragonball- Z

Favorite sport(s) + teams?

Detroit Lions // born 2 lose baby

Favorite movie(s)?


(Picture below of some art by John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon - Color 006

Favorite books and comics?

Akira, Watchmen & Infinity Gauntlet.
I think I’m pretty close to owning anything Alien related from the 90’s…
Heavy Metal is what’s up too.

Art Questions

Favorite other artist(s)?

Albrecht Durer  / George Carlin

Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

People who carbon copy pictures of Eminem off google images and get thousands of likes for it on Instagram…
Actually now that I think of it that may be my answer for the best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle.

Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

Getting thousands of likes for carbon copying  pictures of Eminem off google images.

(Picture below of John at the LA Zine Fair getting his art hustle on)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Portrait 003 - LA Zine Fair

Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?

I observe and report homie.

When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything?)

I’ve been drawing since I was a child; so it’s really hard to answer why I first started because it’s really all I’ve ever known.

What did you draw or make as a pre-teen child?

Superheros and Twisted Metal cars (with  statistics for each car).
I also vividly remember as a child illustrating a picture of a dude jumping on Michelle from Tekken’s stomach and the impact of which made her breasts shoot off of her body into the air.

What did you draw or make as a teen?

I drew over 150 comics with a buddy back in high school about an omnipotent grade-schooler.
The comic evolved over the course of 2 years and it got to the point where I feel like neither of us were really paying attention in class anymore.
We were just trying to be more vile than the other / expand and make rules within the comic, there was some really fucked up drawings in those comic; like teachers in cluster fucks with students. That stuff would have totally gotten us suspended and the fact that we were never caught still blows my mind to this day…
I feel like the theme of most of my life has been never getting caught, which is pretty tight.

(Picture below of some art by John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon - Color 003

Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?

I don’t know if i ever set out to be an artist it just kind of turned into that over the course of living.
I really wasn’t looking very far in the future at the end of high school, I applied to one college and got in. It was alright but it got me off the tracks of what I was doing before… with like drawing dicks ‘n shit.
I’m really just trying to unlearn college now and go back to how I was before to be honest.

Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?

No certain moments come to mind usually talking to Scott (Wygmans) or Adam Niemara puts me on the right tracks.

Describe the method of making  your work? (dot point all o.k.)

* your cartoons and comics?

Being a good observer, taking notes, writing down ideas and studying other comics.

(Picture below of a cartoon by John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon 001

* your more ‘high brow’ work?

It’s all kinda the same process at this point, I am who I am and what I do is me.

(Pictures below of some digital work from John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Art 003

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Art 004

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Art 001

Please describe your experiences growing up in America?

I really feel like this interview would turn into me talking a lot of shit about people and places if I went there.
Read Wage Slaves and you’ll get me.

How, in your opinion, has the rise of platforms such as Instagram and Bigcartel/Etsy impacted the life of an emerging artist/creative?

I mean it looks like people are getting payed or at least they create a good illusion that they are.

Please explain to those at home what exactly your comic project ‘Wage Slaves’ is?

Wage Slaves is real life man.
It’s  about having a customer service job and fucks in Harvard sweaters getting on your shit acting like you really care or something and you’re thinking,
“Ah… Dude we’re on a planet that’s like almost completely water… Basically a bubble floating in the unpredictable chaos of space and you’re complaining that you can’t find tweezers”
…We’re so fucking cruel to one another for the most illogical of reasons.

(Pictures below of some art by John from ‘Wage Slaves’)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Wage Slaves art 002

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Wage Slaves art 004

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Wage Slaves art 003

Odds n Ends

What role did toys play in your childhood?

It expanded my creativity; I was seeing way more than just action figures fighting in my hands when I was kid.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

Xtina was tier one back in the day.

Does sex change everything?

I’ve never had sex in my entire life.

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

I can never remember my dreams now a days to be honest.

(Picture below of some art by John)

John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon - Color 004

Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?

Psychedelics are like playing Halo 2; once you’ve hit lvl 30 the powers that be drop you back down to 21. [ b+x+r / double shots]

Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?

I would like to be remembered as another dude in the crowd that was upset because hoverboards didn’t end up happening.

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

Gateway when you’re young but waste of time now a days.
I’m too busy trying to do things to have that kind of fun… like I can rarely finish a beer at home.

Please describe what you think the American Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?

Everyone just wants a like or 2 on the Internet dude.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?


Any major projects you want to hype man?



John Bailey - Rad to Death - Cartoon - Color 008

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