Please explain what just happened.

I just made it through another hot day in San Francisco.

What is your earliest memory?

Eating dirt clods in my front yard and then wondering if I was doing something stupid.

If you weren’t an artist, what other profession would you choose?

I’d be either an engineer, baseball player or a baker.

Please describe the current contents of your refrigerator.

Sour dough bread, eggs, pickles, assorted vegetables, milk & things like catsup & mustard.
Nothing rotten at this time…

Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

Yes, of course…I’d rather not elaborate though… let’s just say it had to do with a relationship I had, a long time ago.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Don’t be so nervous & depressed! Hit your brother in his face as hard as you can, then kick him in the nuts! Take some foreign language classes! Yes, I have regrets.

If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

Either Lou Reed’s Transformer or Neil Young’s Harvest.

What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?,, &

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

Writers and artists like E.A. Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, V. Van Gogh & N.C. Wyeth & G. Orwell.

Name a book that changed your life.

I can’t say any book changed my life, but I’m thankful for a book of short stories by Charles Bukowski, when I was going through a difficult period.

If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

My first bite of a glazed donut.

How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

I’m not sure, but maybe through art collectors such as J.J. Abrams, Greg Grunberg, Steve Spielberg’s lawyer or Andy Richter.

What makes you feel most guilty?

On the rare occasion that I think I’ve said or done something wrong to someone.

What would you most like to have invented?

The air conditioner.

What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

To buy the stocks, EBAY and WEGI

What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Follow your dreams – as long as you can.

What do you consider the harshest kind of betrayal?

Slander – to a love interest.

Of all the game shows that have graced our TV screens throughout history, which one would you want to be a contestant on and why?

Jeopardy – I always thought the people on that show were pretty impressive.

What do you want to know?

What happened before the ‘Big Bang’ and when will there be a cure for cancer & diabetes?

What would you like your last words to be?

Keep on keeping on.

Please explain what will happen.

The same thing that happened before, only slightly different.

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Aritst ERIC JOYNER enjoyed a rather uneventful childhood in the rather unremarkable town of San Mateo, California in the 1970s. Like many kids of that time, he enjoyed reading comics, playing sports, and making gunpowder … wait. Gunpowder? Oh, that’s right. This is the 1970s we’re talking about. Kids were doing all sorts of dangerous things back then, and nobody ever blinked an eye.

Joyner’s mother was a Methodist who would bribe her young son with donuts to go to Sunday school. His father, an atheist, said mean stuff about Jesus behind his wife’s back. Despite their differences of opinion on God, the Joyners built a loving home for their children and nobody grew up to be too weird.

And, as if guided by the unseen hand of an all-knowing consciousness (but probably not Jesus), at some point in his very young life, someone took Joyner to view an exhibition of Van Gogh’s paintings at the De Young museum in San Francisco. This experience greatly impressed the child, and he soon began taking painting lessons with his older sister. By the time he was in the first grade, classmates and teachers started to notice the compelling work he was creating, and the life of an artist began to take its shape.

After high school, Joyner attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Later, under the influential teaching of Francis Livingston, Kazuhiko Sano, Bill Sanchez, and Robert Hunt, his work greatly improved and he began to work professionally as an artist.

For the next decade, Joyner was a hired-gun for various publishers, high-tech companies, and advertising agencies; he also was a digital animator and provided other artistic services for a variety of companies before rediscovering his original love of drawing and painting and returning to that medium.

The year 1999 was a big one for Joyner He began entering his paintings into various juried shows in the Bay Area and his efforts were well received. That inspired him to focus his paintings only on subjects he truly enjoyed painting–urban San Francisco landscapes, Mexican masks, cartoon characters, and Japanese toy robots. Eventually, the majority of his focus shifted to the robots, and he began to place them in settings more appropriate to their nature, namely, outer space.

It wasn’t until 2002 that Joyner realized something was missing from his paintings, that his lusciously rendered protagonists might need something to contend with … perhaps a nemesis. Shortly thereafter, while watching the movie Pleasantville, in which Jeff Daniels’ character paints a still life of donuts, Joyner’s ultimate vision took shape. With thoughts of donut inventor Wayne Thiebald’s miraculous pastries always close at hand, it wasn’t difficult for Joyner to envision a battle scene of robots retreating from 300 foot-tall donuts. The rest, as they say, is history.

One response to “21 Questions with Eric Joyner”

  1. I love your work, Eric. It’s so great to have you on TNB, Welcome.

    Now I’m going to get a donut.

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