My name is Juan a.k.a LUCKY GNOME
How long have you been making stickers?
Since summer of 2013.
What inspired you to first start producing stickers?
Well it’s funny, it all started when I bought a gnome for my girlfriend’s garden, then I noticed I kept buying her more gnomes. It was getting stupid so I channeled it to stickers, then it took off.
What role would you say stickers play within the greater scope of art?
LUCKY GNOME playing a role in art? LOL I don’t know if it does, but it depends what I put in really. Whether it’s a slap or a drawing I may do sometimes. It’s really up to what people would think. As for me, it’s all for fun.
It really depends on my funds. If I’m good then I go vinyl or paper gloss. If I’m hurting then it’s drawings or photocopies with glue. Recently I got into buying a custom stamp. It’s actually easier to mass produce with the help of the US postal labels.
What are some of your favorite places to put up slaps?
I like hitting up the Wicker Park, Logan Square and Pilsen neighborhoods. Those are the artsy places that a lot of artists hit up, but I try to hit up everywhere in Chicago. Even the really bad neighborhood that some people are scared to go to.
What is the longest one of your slaps has survived in the wild?
A few ones when I first started. It’s usually the vinyl stickers. Those bad boys last forever.
Have you ever had any run-ins with the law due to your stickering?
No. I dress pretty much casual so I attract no attention. Also I don’t act suspicious so I’ll give myself away. Also to be honest cops are really looking for better things than someone putting up slaps. Now if I had a marker or spray can, that would get their attention.
What other artists inspire you?
Well not in way that I want to be like them, but inspire me to go keep putting up more slaps and change it up with my character.
Have you ever had a funny/unusual experience related to stickering?
Well when I slap a sticker in front of someone they act like they’re not noticing, but as I walk away I can see them go investigate what it is and I’ve seen some take a picture of it. I think that’s pretty cool.
If you had to guess, how many stickers have you produced to date?
5,000 and still going.
Is stickering about quantity or quality for you?
Both. Like I said if I have the funds then it’s all out. I guess as long I get it out there that’s what matters. If you have a good gimmick then it doesn’t matter how it looks as long as the person seeing it can see what it is and stands for.
Do you collect and/or trade slaps with other artists?
There are meetings to trade and collect from other artists here in Chicago, but as of yet I haven’t traded with anyone, but I’m okay with giving people my stuff and there are people who want to trade, but I’d rather give them slaps as long as they pay for shipping.
Do you have a message that you are trying to convey with your slaps?
Luck is the message.
What do you want people to take away from seeing one of your designs in the wild?
I guess a feeling of good fortune and life isn’t that bad.
What is the best way for people to follow your work?
I’m on Instagram my screen names are: @cowboyimprov and @luckygnomechicago
I also have an online store:
Also, the Facebook page is featured on there.
Too many to name, but basically everyone from Chicago. I got to represent. There are some that I know, but they know know who are. So why name them?