Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Jon DeStefano and I am 38 years young with 2 wonderful daughters. I am from the home of Dean Martin, Steubenville, Ohio.
When and why did you first start making your art?
I’ve been making art my whole life. As a child my dream was to be a comic book artist and I would draw from the comics I would read. I’ve gone through many phases in my art journey but I started out sketching and did that for many years. Then I dabbled in painting for a while and really found that to be therapeutic. I would paint cartoons, comic characters, and pixel art! About 3 years ago on Christmas eve I was at my mothers house for a party and my brother pulled out these beads and asked me if I wanted to make something. I figured it would be an easy transition from painting pixels so I gave it a shot. The rest is history
What inspires your artwork?
I find inspiration all around me. It could be a song I heard, a show I just watched, or even a few cases where it was just a word a friend said that got the gears turning. My Sho’Nuff piece was inspired by a co-worker I was emailing and he replied with shonuff. So really anything and everything inspires me but my friends have probably been my biggest inspiration.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
Like it was yesterday, It was Roger from American Dad and I actually have it in a frame.
What’s the biggest piece you’ve ever made?
The biggest I’ve done so far is The Green Bastard, I’m really not sure about the bead count but I'm guessing its at least 20k + It's a 36’ x 36’ canvas and takes up entirely too much space on my wall lol
What is your art workspace like?
It’s a little cramped and serves many purposes but it’s enough…for now
What are the tools of your trade?
The things I get most asked about are my iron and tape. For tape I only use Scotch Blue painters tape, I’ve tried other brands but wasn’t happy with the results as I always poke holes in my tape. My iron is the Cricut Easy Press 2–9” x 9” version. I also use the Cricut Easy Press mini for touch up jobs.
What’s the most time you’ve spent on a project?
Probably the 2 weeks I spent on the 3 Jokers project (which was incredibly fun)
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
I’m not really sure if i have one or not, most of my pieces are pretty spontaneous. My inspiration is all around me so really whatever I’m feeling at that time has the most to do with how I pick a subject matter I would say. Maybe I do have a process, it’s just unpredictable.
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
“What the hell is that made out of?” followed by “How long did that take” haha
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Oh yes, plenty. The worst one though was the 3rd joker I did. I was still making rookie mistakes when ironing with my new expensive Cricut toy. I had been pressing and holding in 1 spot for too long and then moving to the next and so on and by the time i had gotten back to a certain spot it had cooled and was curling and separated from the non melted beads and I lost a huge chunk of it so i trimmed it and was able to make a sale of what was left. I constantly have the iron moving now when finishing the bigger projects and haven’t had an issue since.
Do you have a dream project you’d love to make, but just can’t justify yet?
I have a few in mind, but until i have the room to put them it’s gonna be just that, a dream.
What was your most recent project?
My most recent project was my favorite cartoon character ever. Randy Marsh as Lorde.
What are your favourite experiences you’ve had as a result of your art?
First and foremost all of the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know in the bead community. It’s been a bright spot in a terrible time we are all living in with the pandemic.
One of my favorite shows is Trailer Park Boys and now Jacob owns the piece I made of him!
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
I just finished Randy today so I have absolutely nothing planned as of right now.
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
I do, most pieces I sell are by commission. I do however have shops on Etsy and Mercari. what I’ve done in the past is whenever someone wanted to buy from me online I have made a listing so all sales are done through either one of those. My Linktree is in my Instagram profile
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc…
Anything else to share? Shoutouts, words of wisdom etc?
Big shoutout to the Cricut Crusaders! you know who you are :)
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.