Featured Member for August 2017
Jon Ruiz

My love for art began when I was about nine years old, I started tracing comic book covers. After some time of tracing, I became courageous and decided to start copying the art work by eye, which was very difficult at first. My art, in terms of proportions, was off by a mile but, regardless, I was proud of my achievements in my early years as an amateur.

All through grade school, middle school, and high school, I drew always; even to the point of failing my classes. My art skills improved so much that a few teachers in high school, having been impressed by my rendition of their likeness as caricatures, kept my artwork and one teacher displayed it with pride on his wall.

At home I spent my days drawing monsters, super heroes, and dragons. While my high school friends were busy with the girls after school, I was busy drawing away in my own world and getting lost in my imagination. I found inspiration from great fantasy artists like Frank Frazetta(RIP), Jeff Easley, The Brothers Hildebrandt, Keith Parkinson(RIP), and Larry Elmore.      

Eventually I attended Evergreen Valley College in San Jose and all I signed up for were art classes, nothing else. I met a wonderful art teacher by the name of Barbara Bouchard who helped me improve my anatomical skills in Life Drawing, and she introduced me to the art world of Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover, and N.C. Wyeth. After a few years, my wonderful teacher gifted me with a grant in order for me to attend The Academy in San Francisco for the summer.

In 1993 I found an ad in the Mercury News by a company named Crystal Dynamics who was in need of a Storyboard Artist and so I took the opportunity to apply for the job immediately. I sent them all of my 35mm slides of my artwork which were many. A few days later I was called in for an interview, and within a week I was hired and working in the video game industry, drawing for a living. It was a dream come true, I was getting paid for doing something that I loved. I worked in the industry for over 15 years and I'm very grateful for that opportunity in my life. I now am a stay at home father and I home school my children, cook, draw, paint, and kill a lot of spiders for my daughters.

In terms of my art career I still do artwork for myself and I occasionally do commissioned works for friends and family. Lately I have been focusing my time on my YouTube channel where I upload video tutorials on how to draw and paint for all to see and learn. I will be sharing my thoughts and skills for free through my channel for all aspiring artists who want to learn how to draw and paint for a lifetime.

Youtube: Jon Ruiz Art - 
Deviantart: Jonruizart