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Late afternoon… TUBE was thirsty. I ordered an Iced coffee run some chocolate by it and SHE (Melissa) ordered a tea… I know it’s a coffee house, and she just had to order Tea. We laugh and we giggle, as we sip our drinks and soak in some of the most amazing art on the walls of Insight coffee house.  We settle in, and begin to dream about our DREAM living rooms and what specific piece of work would go where and why. Our thoughts are then broken by the biggest smile ever walking through the door.  We meet the man behind the wicked awesome art hanging on the walls, Jon Buck.

Introductions were made and the questions began rolling.  We started off discussing how Jon ended up in Sacramento, California and how all of this creating begin. Jon grew up in Texas and quickly moved to St. Louis before he planted himself in Roseville, California by the age of 28, however he now calls midtown home. He had spent some time in school studying journalism, but then quickly found a love and passion for Art & Graphic Novels. After some time in school, in internships, and in working behind closed doors on secret short story turned Graphic Novel…his passion started to boil over and the process began.

The pieces hanging at Insight are marvelous.  They are very thoughtfully color blocked pieces of monsters and people placed into twisted worlds of wispy trees and odd settings.  Jon works in ink and places the art on rag matte.  For the time being, he feels his most successful piece is this one.

Jon’s art is always a work in progress and his process has a 1 out of 10 success rate. Surprisingly it all starts with color choices.  Before Jon is aware of what his figures will be, he has already picked out his colors.  Next is a sketch or an idea, something small that he can gradually turn into a larger piece.  Once the main idea is placed on the matte, the rest falls into place.  He likes to work with the mind over hand process, in which he switches his initial idea to fit into his premeditated color pallet.

Each show takes Jon about a year and a half to produce. He is continually coming up with ideas of materials he can incorporate into his process and searches each showing to find a more cohesive look towards his work. He had hung 1/2 of the art show previously at a different venue and had some great feedback. Jon then took the work home, re-faced and gave it some more love.  In doing this he saw a more noticeable style which reflected who he truly his was.

When I asked Jon who was inspiring him, without surprise he answered Skinner.  His reasoning however was not at all what I was expecting.  He praises Skinner for becoming successful without leaving Sacramento.  I couldn’t agree more.  There is some fantastic talent in this town and they all seem to leave, heading to New York or San Francisco to “make it big”.  Skinner has done some amazing things with his roots right here.

Jon Buck is truly just a nice guy with some extreme talent.  It is refreshing to meet someone with a vision and a smile.  If you have not caught his work yet you can find it hanging for another week or so at Insight Coffee on 8th and S Street.  You may also have a look at what he has been up to by visiting

We asked Jon a few off the wall questions so just incase you wanted to know…

1. What is your favorite movie?

____: Milo & Otis. Also, Eternal Sunshine from a Spotless Mind.

2. Favorite places to eat?

____: Keep it simple. Pieces by the slice.

3. Best thing for a Hang Over?

____:  I say know your Liquor. Water is your best friend and      Electrolytes too. In the morning there is nothing better than coffee and Aspirin.

4. What’s your band list look like?

____: Well, I used to play in a band. I like to play everything, but the piano and the guitar are my favorite. Drums… that’s a different story. I like to play the Saxophone. And I really like SKA bands. Also if you are looking for a good place to see some music…BIKE KITCHEN !

5. When is your next show?

____: Hopefully, 2nd Saturday or in the next 6 months I will be having a show in San Francisco

These words are a Naomi Lucchesi and Melissa Uroff collaboration.

Photos by Melissa Uroff

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