Robert John Paterson

Updated: 05 Aug 2021

Current Artist-in-Residence

Robert John Paterson is Creative Spark’s Artist-in-Residence  from January 1st to February 28th. Based in Toronto, Canada, Robert John graduated from the Art Institute of Toronto with an Advanced Graphic Design Diploma before working in advertising for three years. Returning to college, he studied in OCAD University, graduating with a Bachelor of Design, Illustration Major, in 2015. Since then, he has been freelancing for numerous clients and exhibiting at such shows as the Northern Contemporary Anniversary Show, The White House Studio Project – In Difference, and the Cameron Brewery – March Cask Night.

While studying design, Robert John came to admire aesthetic and minimalism philosophies of Sal Bass Milton Glaser. He describes his own work as retro minimalism, using bright colours and simple illustrations to build complex designs to create busy but easily understood works from simple elements. His favourite medium is screenprinting.

During his time at Creative Spark, Robert John hopes to polish his techniques in traditional screenprinting and more contemporary digital technologies and bring his work to the next level, as well as using his shared studio experience to help create an environment where skill sharing and collaborating will benefit everyone.

His artist statement is below:

Illustrator, designer, print maker – proudly Canadian. I approach each illustration with the goal of expressing the most while showing the least. I love to tell stories with my pictures by communicating complex ideas with simplified shapes and colours.

I graduated from OCADU’s prestigious Illustration program in 2015, and have been working as a freelance artist and illustrator since then. I mainly work with traditional printmaking techniques to create my illustrations, but also enjoy ex­perimenting with other mixed medias and short digital animations. Some notable clients I have done illustrations for in the last year are Johns Hopkins University, Hot Docs Film Festival, Money Sense Magazine, Toronto Entertainment District, Orca Publishing and Craft Ontario.