John Mavroudis

It’s always about the audience!

John Mavroudis
Alta-cover-Joan Didion-Fall 2019/Issue 9

John Mavroudis, whose works often make the covers of internationally acclaimed magazines, has made a habit of winning awards one after the other. Nevertheless, he never loses his modesty. He does not seek prizes, and never will his work become award-oriented. So, whenever his talent is acknowledged, he can’t help but to feel a little surprised.

In April 2021, he was the recipient of the best cover award, as well as the runner-up in the “best illustration” category, at the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. “When I wrap up a project, my sole concern is to get through to the audience. I am deeply satisfied every time this goal is fulfilled. As all awards in the past, this one poses no exception; it was a great surprise, too. I don’t really get preoccupied with awards. If they come along the way, then it’s all for the better.”

It’s not the first time he joins forces with California-based Alta magazine, as they had appreciated his work for the Time magazine cover, featuring Christine Blasey Ford. Mavroudis depicted the Stanford academic as she was testifying before the court, capturing the moment when she raised her right hand to take an oath. Inspiringly enough, he chose the very words she used in her testimony as his “raw material”. Alta magazine asked him to follow the same recipe with author Joan Didion. “In that case, I was asked to make a portrait of her using several names of California-related writers. I found this project really intriguing so I went on with it,” he reveals. A list of writers and some pictures of Didion was all it took to set the wheels of creation into motion. “I had to make room for plenty of writers, so the letters came out a little smaller than usual, but it all worked out fine in the end. We tried out more than a dozen different covers before making a final decision, but the whole process was far from tiresome. You simply can’t get enough of working with this magazine and its artistic director.”