My Breakthrough Moment: Jon Burgerman

In this series we ask leading creatives to talk about what projects or events kickstarted their careers. Here, artist Jon Burgerman, who has a fondness for googly eyes, talks about how his move to New York City led to a breakthrough in his practice

I’ve been a professional … Artist? Doodler? Creative type? – for about 20 years now. My career has been steady enough (never spectacular) so I think it’s a means of keeping myself interested and engaged in it. A significant life leap was moving to New York City from Nottingham, UK ten years ago. 

That was a jolt to my system and I think the last ten years has been a series of aftershocks from the move. If your perspective, outlook, neighbourhood, friends, diet, lover, pizzeria, professional scene changes it’s impossible for you and your work not to change too. Although change can be difficult, risky and expensive, it certainly makes you feel more alive.

I always hope that a ‘significant turning point’ is happening right now. I like to have one at least a couple of times a year. Most recently it’s been playing with spray paint as part of my studio practice. Before then it was creating animations for large screens and immersive installations. Each jump usually comes about from being introduced to some new medium: Jon, you should meet spray paint, I know you’ve bumped into each other a few times before but I think if you spent some real time together you might have a lot of fun.