Willy Johnson was born in Toronto and grew up between the city lights and nature, particularly the family cottage on the edge of Jack Lake, in the Kawarthas. Even in the city, his preference always took him to extended bike rides and hiking along Lake Ontario or inner city wooded areas. He began to develop his artistic vein in high school and went on to graduate from the Wexford School for the Arts, where he captured a drawing and painting award in 2010. He holds a BA in Illustration from OCAD University, completed in 2014. His work was first featured in a duo exhibition with Morgan Booth at Toronto’s 561 Studio in 2011. He produced a nude self-portrait for an OCAD University Figure Show in 2013 and completed a spiritualist-inspired acrylic painting for a maternity hospital in Brazil in 2014. His distinctive murals featuring Toronto landmarks were completed in 2015 and 2017 and are on permanent exhibit at the Provo Foodbar, in the heart of Toronto’s arts district. He has also completed projects for The Globe and Mail, the ABC network television show Shadow Hunters and as a designer for Canadian wearable computing pioneer Steve Mann.

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