St. John’s alumnus turns illustrator

2.jpgGordon Court, class of 2004, is a St. John’s alumnus who turned illustrator. We asked him about his St. John’s experience and his life after he graduated.

Please tell us about your life after St. John’s?
Life after St. John’s … well, the most significant thing for me personally was probably dropping everything to go to art school. It was a big change from what I was studying, but when you get the chance to do what you love, you take it.

What do you currently do? 
I am currently a freelance illustrator. It’s very much a “have a brush, will travel” situation, but it offers a great deal of freedom—both in terms of schedule and content.

How did St. John’s prepare you for adulthood?
I’m still not entirely sure I’ve become an “adult” in the traditional sense, but St. John’s has definitely helped with my people skills—which is basically what it comes down to. If nobody wants to work with you, it’s going to be rough going.

What did you learn at St. John’s that has proven helpful in your career?
There are so many things and people from my time at St. John’s that I loved—still love. The most obvious way it influenced me was taking IB Art, taking on big projects, the vernissage and the opportunity to visit La Biennale were incredible, to say the least.
As for individual influences, Andre Turner was a huge influence on my choice of career. Alan Hayes indulged my predilection for ridiculous behavior and love of storytelling. Mr. Jones really pushed my creative and critical thinking and honed my class clownery
(something I’m truly grateful for). Amy Colquhoun was a friend as well as a teacher.
Even back to Grade 1 where Mrs. Aylmer taught me to read—so that was pretty useful.

What makes St. John’s special?
There are just too many ways and too many names for me to give enough credit to St. John’s. The faculty, opportunities and fellow students made St. John’s truly unique, not only as a school but as an experience I sincerely consider myself fortunate to have
been a part of.

What advice do you have for current St. John’s students with big dreams?
To all the St. Johnnies with big dreams: there is only one way to know if a path is for you. Walk it. Failure and success are just words. Take the first step, you never know where it may lead. That’s the whole fun of it.