About Erik Jones, Creator of the Iris On

In October of 1982, Erik Jones was born in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. After living in St. Petersburg for the first twenty-one years of his life, Jones moved to Sarasota, Florida to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design. Jones initially wanted to work in animation, but while immersing himself in art at Ringling, he found a passion for painting and illustration. Jones received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2007 and began his art career as a cover illustrator. As a cover illustrator, Erik toured the US to show at various art and pop culture conventions, and in 2009, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he still currently resides.

Jones’s Early Influences and Career
According to an interview with Supersonic, Jones’s earlier work was primarily influenced by pinup painters, including Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, and George Petty, as well as similar 1960s-era artists who illustrated the female form. These influences are clearly visible in Jones’s early work, which contains bright colors and strong lines. Jones’s early style thus naturally lent itself to work in the comic book industry, which welcomed him as a cover illustrator. In the years following his graduation from Ringling, he traveled throughout the United States showing his work at comic conventions. However, despite his skill in creating comic cover art, it was never his passion, and he eventually pursued other projects.

Move to New York and Current Projects
In 2009, Jones moved to New York with “$81 in [his] pocket, a garbage bag full of clothes and a computer” in order to pursue his gallery artist aspirations. At Ringling, Jones had found his passion for figure painting and illustration, and he began to pursue it more heavily after moving to New York. Drawing inspiration from graphic arts and ridiculous colors, Jones created a piece called “Shapes,” which catapulted him into The Iris On’s experimentation with form, space, and human figures.

Today, Jones continues to live in Brooklyn and paint for galleries, but he does accept some commission work. Jones currently draws much of his inspiration from conceptual fashion designers and non-representational space and form painters. His most recent work is defined by colorful, vibrant, and realist representations of his female subjects juxtaposed on a non-representational background that nearly mimics geometric high-end fashion. His most recent showing was at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in January 2018 in New York City.