John Rutkowski grew up in Houston, Texas and currently lives and works in Springfield, Missouri. Heavily interested in art since childhood, John attended the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and then went on to receive his BFA from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.
Early in his career, John navigated between roles as an agency Art Director and an editorial illustrator. Although different in execution, the two disciplines fed each other creatively and conceptually. This period resulted in a broad range of creative exploration, tremendous growth, and a strong body of work that included national recognition from various organizations including Communication Arts as well as The Society of Illustrators.
Today, John co-owns an advertising agency and enjoys the challenges and creativity it provides, but he has also reconnected with his fine art roots and is exploring his true passion as an abstract artist. The layers, textures and objects that represented a foundation to his smaller scale editorial illustration work have now become the heart of his larger scale personal work.
For me, the art is not about replicating what I see or know. It's about expressing how I feel. That's why I'm fascinated by textures and layers. I use paint, objects, marks and scratches and am intrigued by how these elements combine and work in tandem to bring to life the stories I want to tell or the thoughts or feelings I want to express. The application of these elements and the act of creating each piece establishes a physical connection to the work. This energetic link is just as much a part of the story as the idea or feeling that prompts it.