Early in childhood, John's interest in art was evident. Encouraged by teachers, family and friends, he went on to study art at Howard University and the University of D.C., to major in graphic design. John's interests, however, soon switched to the finer arts. Realizing the appeal of his work, he entered the art market in 1991 and has become a leading African-American artist.
John's work has a strong southern folksy feel, capturing the essence of rural life. His main themes are family, spirituality and culture. For much of his subject matter, he draws from his family members,childhood memories and stories from his grandmothers. His grandmothers are his greatest inspirations; which explains the repetition of women in his works. John has always been captivated by the church and often depicts images related to spirituality. John also focuses on aspects such as music, heritage and traditions that set his race apart from others... yet his use of timeless themes make the images relative to anyone who views them.
Such artists as Ernie Barnes and Norman Rockwell inspire John's style. Like Barnes, his compositions are full of movement and his characters elongated and distorted. John's images seem to capture a snap-shot of a moment. This style of visual story-telling is inspired by the narrative style of Norman Rockwell.