Around the House: with Texas Artist - Jon Flaming

Monday, July 19, 2010

What do you do when one of your friends is quite possibly one of the most talented guys you know? You beg for an interview and crash his house for dinner while snapping a few photos. It must be said that Jon and Kathy Flaming have the most amazing home (and family) and my poor photography does it absolutely no justice. So, I sent my husband back over to their house one afternoon to get more shots, 100x better shots. Being in their backyard feels like being on vacation and I secretly overtly want to move in. Enjoy.

My name is Jon Flaming and I am originally from Kansas. Our family moved to Texas when I was 5. I am married to Kathy and we have 3 children – Hannah, Jake and Mary. We live in suburban Richardson, Texas but have a longing to be in the Texas hill country someday.

P: What's your favorite project you've ever done/ had the most fun with?
J: My favorite project is the last one I worked on. That project happened to be a series of 40 paintings of small town Texas for a solo exhibit in Houston.
P: Are you organized with lists, crossing one item off at a time or sporadic with lots of projects going on at once?
J: I am a list maker. – Crossing off my “to-do’s” makes me feel like I am being productive.

P: Is there anything you are dying to learn how to do?
J: Make a film. Either a documentary or a short film having something to do with small town Texas.
P: Are you a self-taught illustrator/painter?
J: Self-taught painter, but studied design/illustration in college.
P: How did you get into the business/make a name for yourself?
J: My first job out of college I worked at a design studio in Dallas – SullivanPerkins – where I learned a great deal about design, advertising, running a business, etc. I also had the chance to work for some great companies and was able to build a strong reputation as a talented designer/illustrator. In 1993, I started my own company and have been creating images and campaigns for companies ever since.

P: Where do you look for inspiration?
J: Architecture, literature, movies, life, other forms of art.
P: Why small Texas towns?
J: As a child, I remember frequent trips to my grandparents ranch in rural southeast Kansas. The images of small towns, farms, ranches made a big impression. I continue to seek out the simpler places that are tucked away down old roads or off the beaten path.

PN: What's next?
J: Not sure. Will probably continue my series of paintings on small Texas towns.

PN: Are there any unlikely color combinations that you fancy?
J: Not necessarily unlikely, but I love dusty, aged, earth-tones. Rust is my favorite color/texture. I love anything that has been weathered/aged over time.

PN: How long have you lived in your current house?
J: 6 years.

PN: What was your first project upon moving in?
J: Take out all the carpet. Repaint every wall. Put down 80 year old pine floors. Install many canned lights throughout (I am a firm believer in warm ambient lighting – makes a home feel inviting) Install screen doors on all rooms. Install a vintage claw-foot tub for Kathy – she loves her bath time!

PN: What types of things do you collect?
J: Anything vintage western! Anything with a rusted patina – old cans, signs, etc. Screen doors, farm doors, old chairs, architectural details from old farm houses or barns, I also love vintage advertising pieces.

PN: What started your love of collecting?
J: My grandmother liked antiques and had some cool pieces in her home on the ranch in Kansas. – Also, in junior hi school, my buddies and I collected old beer cans. 

PN: Has your love of collecting ever become a source of contention in your home?
J: Not really. Thankfully Kathy loves the same stuff I do.

PN: You have a lot of vintage pieces in your home. Where do you go to find these treasures?
J: Flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, antiques stores, abandoned buildings.

PN: Is there anything you're on a constant hunt to find?
J: Vintage western/Texas stuff – cowboy boots, shirts, cow skulls, signs, toys, furniture  - anything with a western/Texas theme.
PN: What is currently on your night stand?
J: An old Bowie knife, cell phone, small paintings, old frames, Bible.
PN: What's your design moto?
J: Keep it simple.

PN: Indoors or Outdoors? (preference)
J: Outdoors – driving an old burnt orange Ford pick-up truck through a field with my dog. 

PN: What do you listen to while working?
J: Blue grass. Vintage country (not the new stuff). Classical. Old time Gospel. The soundtrack to “Last Picture Show”!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jon! For this interview, for my new banner (yup, Jon's the talent behind the new Pure and Noble banner!) and most importantly, for your friendship and humor. It's such a treat to have a blog. I get to show others, all over the world, things that I love that they may never have seen otherwise. I hope you've enjoyed this home/studio tour today. May your week be filled with love, laughter, tiny treasures, sweet memories and rust... lots of beautiful rust. xo


  1. What a great post! I am a big fan of Jon's work, really like Jon and Kathy, and really,really enjoyed a peek into their home. Clearly it is full of personality and soul- the best kind of home. Your blog is wonderful, Brooke and I am adding you to my favorites list. Looking forward to following what is pure and noble. Oh, and that blog it!!!!

  2. THAT is really cool!! Awesome home and what a studio! Am wondering tho - who dusts??
    Read you everyday Brooke, great blog!! This is one of my favorites.

  3. Jon boy!! How could you make it through this whole interview without mentioning the word scrounging?? Great to hear you and see you and feel you my brother. Keep up the great work! Missing the old scrounging days.

    And great job on the interview Brooke!

  4. Thanks Anonymous! It's one of my favorites too. i adore them and LOOOOVE their house. Like I said, "i totally want to move in." Not only is the house inspirational, but it's completely filled with warmth, love and favorite things! xo

  5. What a story! Great to know the man behind the talent - thanks for sharing, Jon, and great interview, Brooke. I enjoy the guest posts/interviews. It opens my eyes to the talent of others, and expands my understanding of you and places you draw your creative inspiration from.

  6. wow! love his studio and his collections. maybe I shouldn't have tossed out my soda bottle collection (although they weren't vintage- his are much cooler.). :)

  7. LOL @ Anonymous! Dust Shmust. We've lived in our 1929 home for 6+ years and OCCASIONALLY run a wet washcloth over surfaces that have a layer of dust. Do people really dust on a regular basis? It seems like such a waste of time. It is much more fun to spend that time out & about searching for more treasures! I could easily move into Jon & Kathy's home, too. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Great story and inside view on Jon and Kathy's pad...very genuine and authentically simple. Love it!


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