Sydney’s oldest teenager
How often do you come across a double sided business card where on each side there is a different occupation? Meet Jon Lemon – a graphic designer, and a poet. Jon is a man of many talents, full of innovative ideas and a passion for creativity that doesn’t stop even at the age of 86!
TDA: Let’s begin with a bit of history. Can tell us about your background?
Jon: I started my creative career after the second world war, when all designs were hand drawn and custom made. At a young age, I had a successful design studio in Sydney with 8 staff members. I am still working on freelance design projects from home. Along my career, I was always open to technological changes and adopted them quickly – I even learned how to use all the design programs (Adobe’s Creative Suite) by myself – I just bought the programs and learned them by trial and error.
TDA: How did your romance with poetry started?
Jon: I started writing poetry when the economic crisis hit the market. I put a few words together and sent it to a friend who loved it and encouraged me to write more. I never thought of being a poet prior to that. For 3 years I have been reading my poems every Friday on ES radio at the 3.30pm local program.
TDA: Could you tell us more about your poetry practice?
Jon: To date I have published 5 poetry books with cheeky illustrations: Pithy Poems, Pithy Wit, Pithy Love, Pithy-osophy and Pithy Planet. Pithy means edgy, and pith is found inside a lemon, so I decided to call my books Pithy and “borrowed” the surname Lemon. My illustrations add another layer to the poems. You could say that I am an active member of the local poetry scene; I usually attend “Word In Hand”, an open mic night for poets that takes places once a month in Glebe in Sydney’s inner west.
TDA: What are your future plans?
Jon: Aside from my plans to publish various children’s books, I am working on a secret campaign to change the color of a Sydney icon. I also just launched a new art series in collaboration with photographer Michael Thompson.
Jon’s books can be purchased at the Dymocks store in George St. Sydney and on his new website where printed t-shirts with illustrations from the books are also available. If you wish to see more of Jon’s art and design projects visit here.
TDA wants to thank Jon for sharing his work with us. His creative energy is really inspiring and we will keep you updated with his future projects. We would also like to send some virtual flowers to our talented photographer Jonathan Rich.