Crushing on Justin Tan

Artist Justin Tan contributed to issue 10 by creating a super cool reinterpretation of Don Cherry’s suit. His work combines crisp black lines with textured planes of colour; a style that can rival Cherry’s any day. WORN’s need for a fact-checker became evident when, after the copy was printed, I realized Justin’s name was misspelled – our sincerest apologies, Justin! I caught up with him to enlighten WORN readers of the work of a man who is, contrary to what may be printed in the magazine, named Justin Tan.

Do you remember your first impressions of Don Cherry’s style? Would you be interested to see more people emulate it?
The first time I saw Don Cherry was when I was a little kid watching Hockey Night in Canada. I wasn’t really interested in people’s style back then, so my impression of him was probably similar to Mr. Dress Up. Just an older gentlemen who dressed funny. I wouldn’t like it if more people dressed like Don Cherry. I really appreciate the effort he puts into his wardrobe, and that’s kinda his thing. If more people did it, then it would lose some of it’s appeal.

Tell me a bit about your illustration of Mr. Cherry.
Well, the idea behind my illustration is an ageless Don Cherry. From what I remember as a kid, Don Cherry looked the exact same when I was 10 as he does now. He doesn’t seem to get older or anything, I mean, can you picture Don Cherry wearing a track suit to go mall walking followed by bingo and 4 o’clock dinner? That picture just seems ridiculous; that would make a great illustration though. But for me, I had fun imagining Don Cherry being alive in a future where Hockey is played across the galaxy and there’s like one Earth team, and they play Saturn’s team or Mars’ team. Galactic Cup instead of World Cup. I’ve really been into space and the galaxy lately too, so this was a great way to work some of that great imagery into an illustration.

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