John Kalokyris - Brief Biography



* Symbols - Influences





John Kalokyris was born in 1962 in Heraklion, Crete. He spent his early childhood in the mountain village of Anogia (the biggest mountain of Crete Psiloreitis was close enough and outside the raging wind and the snow was falling thick), closed most of the time in a colorful transparent sphere - by the fire - which he was leaving occasionally to visit for a while the outside world environments.


As you can easily understand, he is irrevocably influenced by the Cretan land, the colorful mountains of the greens and herbs, the elves and fairies of Crete, the brindled goats and the thousands of smells lingering in the air, the warm light of the island (sometimes harsh and unforgiving and sometimes sweet and playful), but also from the sea around, the island’s kites and eagles, the flying rabbits and turtles, the flying saucers etc etc.



The people of Crete and their occupations have influenced him also deeply. The old women and the black-dressed men with their colorful personalities, the alien verger, the mermaids, the lyres, the lutes, the looms and colorful weavings, the hoes, the scythes, the rifles and the shots. Everyone had something magical (and stubborn) upon him and each one of them was a special case.


When he was young he noticed that people, when seen from the front, had clear outlines (ie, one started where the other one ended) and that they seemed to be lonely (although he met them quite often in large groups). But when seen from the side, the outlines fade and things tended to be more mixed (somehow, everything and everyone were interconnected).






* Techniques - Motifs





These influences appear as recurring motifs / elements in his drawings. So often in his art work we can see large noses (to smell better), big eyes (to see better), colorful mountains filled with small colored objects, various kinds of strange birds and flying balloons floating here and there, sea water, fish and seabeds, brindled goats, exotic trees and suspicious / unsuspecting figures with clear (and sometimes not so clear) outlines, magicians, mysterious symbols, Suns and Moons, primordial sources of Light and Darkness etc etc.


His paintings are colorful or black and white, made by combining traditional techniques with other more modern. He uses mostly tools with solid nose on the bottom side (pencils, pens, markers, crayons etc.), but also watercolors and acryllic colors (he prefers oils mainly in food and salads). One techique he likes is the semi - digital painting (the original drawing is always made using natural media - then digitized - and finally the colors are applied with simulated natural paint brushes in computer).


Various other mixed techniques such as collageographies, silkwormographies, ornithographies, lacerographies, woodendoorographies, eggomytographies etc, are also used.




* Activities - Publications




 His interests - apart from teaching and education - are the study of starry heavens and the mysteries of the Universe and of course the illustration and writing of children's books. Quite often he combines or "dress" his drawings with TEXT, using the technique of explanatory or notational pointing - just like the rest of his family ("this is a leg ...”, cheese pies need to warm up before you eat them) etc etc.


Until 1998 he used in his works the pseudonym JBG, but after his visit in the island Arran (an island in Scotland near Glasgow) and the communication he had with the spirits of the forest and his meeting with the local Druids, he decided to sign as Arran.



He is self-taught in the field of illustration (as in several other areas also), but he considers as his teachers (even from a distance) many different painters and cartoonists, whose work he studied closely. You can see here: "Favorite painters, cartoonists" the most important of them.


His cartoons and drawings have been published in newspapers and magazines and many of his paintings are in private collections and were occasionally exposed to digital art galleries online. His first book for children (and adults also) entitled "THE WATER THAT MAKES YOU INVISIBLE AND THE OLD – SHE – DEVIL WITH THE 100 HUMPS", released in May 2013.





Contact info



More information, e - mail pigeons, post pelicans etc   at





Flying in the countryside



Fauna and flora of the next forest


with colorful trees.




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