J.D. comes from a family of professional artists and engineers, earning his AAA degree in commercial art with a focus on illustration in 1984. He went on to earn a BA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1989, J.D. found himself in Hollywood and, working as a sought-after art director for the next 26 years, managed to create well over 2,400 movie posters, album covers, and a wide range of advertising solutions for major corporations in several different industries. In 2016, J.D. gladly gave up the Hollywood lifestyle and relocated to beautiful Santa Rosa, California for a very significant change in his art, life, finances, and even health (fortunately, all for the better).
Creating intricate and hyper-real portraits of Rock ‘n Roll royalty in a wide variety of styles is something that J.D. has been doing for over 40 years and he feels like he is just getting started. J.D. was fortunate enough to work alongside many celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Sade, KISS, Sammy Hagar, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, OZZY, Whitney Houston and so many more. His new illustrated book ‘Rock ‘n Roll Legends of the 60’s in Graphite’ features over 50 inspiring graphite portraits of rock icons, complete with band bios, rare quotes and full discographies. In addition, J.D. has included his incredible life story in a section titled ‘The making of a Hollywood Art Director’. This is a great and truly inspirational read with captivating drawings of some of our most memorable musical giants of the 60’s. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Metallica’s ‘All Within My Hands’ foundation. Giving back, inspiring and empowering individuals is what J.D. Emmerson is all about.