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J.D. Emmerson; renaissance man.


J.D. is a self-taught artist with the ability to master a wide variety of techniques and styles quite rapidly, which allowed him to win his first national art competition at the early age of 12 years old. Since then, he has taken a hyper-realistic approach to his portraiture work. He was inspired by not only the great masters before him, but by some of the most gifted illustrators who worked with his mom at a leading design studio in the mid-west. With exceptional creative talent from his mom, his dad passed down genius in the form of inventor, excelling in math, science, chemistry and physics. J.D. dabbled in civil engineering, architecture and advanced sciences and technologies. Secret until now, J.D. has invented the world's fastest underwater recreational vehicle with profits funding his international travels and ongoing philanthropy.

While attending Hawkeye Institute of Technology for an AAA degree, President Ronald Reagan presented him with a gold medal in the National Skill Olympics of 1984 for demonstrating advanced skills and techniques in airbrush art.

Spending over 26 years as a sought-after Art Director in Hollywood, California, J.D. created well over 1,400 advertising campaigns, album covers, DVD/CD cover art, movie posters, and at the same time, nurturing his thriving parallel career as a Chef.

Almost the very same day that J.D. wound up in Hollywood, with only $27 in his pocket, he began working with Hollywood film legends and many Rock 'n Roll idols as well, his dreams coming true right before his eyes. Soon, J.D.'s collection of celebrity portraits grew to hundreds and his reputation blossomed. He was at a point in his life where he had mastered a wide variety of techniques and styles, even to becoming a photographer and master 'retoucher to the stars' which allowed him access to hundreds of celebrities, film and music companies as well as hundreds of independent producers.

With a handful of gallery shows under his belt in Los Angeles, he retired from advertising and moved to Santa Rosa, California and became a resident artist at the Fulton Crossing Art Gallery. Since abandoning the advertising grind, J.D.'s art has exploded in ways that he had never expected. For example, as his Japanese girlfriend and college room mate were both abstract artist, J.D. was not capable of doing abstract art to save his life. Now, J.D. has avid collectors of his dynamic and colorful abstract paintings around the world. Today, J.D. embraces his hyper-realistic tendencies of the past and welcomes his new-found skills in the world of abstract art, becoming even more prolific than ever before.

Any bio on J.D. must include the incredible influence that Asia has had on him, from Tae-Kwon-Do lessons at age 12, Japanese girlfriend in college, lead singer in a Thai band, creator of the Samurai Cafe and all of the vast experiences he has had all over Asia for the past 26 years. Today, J.D. is proud to be exhibiting in one of Bangkok's most exciting art galleries, exposing his art on an international level.

   "Now J.D., I want you to go out into the world and make a commitment to excellence in everything you do."
      -Ronald Reagan - Former President of the USA

   "That is some incredible art. You have some amazing skills my friend. Don't stop J.D., don't ever stop."
      -Gene Simmons - Bass player in KISS

   "Just wicked man! This is tremendous art J.D., just incredible."
      -Sammy Hagar - The Red Rocker

   "It's rare to find talent such as this. You have an extraordinary gift, that's for sure."
      -OZZY Osborne - Solo Artist

   "I gotta admit it J.D., you remind me of a young Drew Struzan."
      -Ernie Cefalu - David Hale & Associates

   "I wish we had known each other ten years ago. We could have made millions together."
      -Hal Silverman - Silverman Advertising

Member of:
• Society of Illustrators
• Portrait Society of America


With nearly a decade of graphite drawings complete, J.D. will be publishing several books next year featuring the following collections: Jazz, Blues, Rock and celebrities. Several of these graphite images are currently available on this website.

In addition, J.D. will be drawing his new photographs of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and releasing several books next year and continuing the series as long as possible. A portion of the proceeds will go to several worthy charities in Cambodia.


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***As with all products I sell, a portion of the proceeds will go to the 'NO MORE' Foundation ( to end domestic violence and sexual assault. As a victim of domestic violence myself, I feel an obligation to give back, fully supporting this great foundation and bringing some healing and love into the world. Please join me in this great cause.