John Zamudio was born in Lima, Peru and was accepted at the National School of Fine Arts in Peru and went on to study oil painting at the Art Museum of Quinta Vergara in Vina del Mar, Chile. He worked in business for 15 years before returning to art. He joined the Church at age 15. As he says, “I consider myself someone who believes in expressing inspiring messages beyond the colors or brushstrokes to make the world a better place to live.”
You have dealt with injuries to your hands and prolonged depression during your life. How did these challenges shape you as an artist? I had a bad accident to my hands was when I was 2 and I have no memories about having healthy hands to compare a before and an after. I started to struggle with my hands when I started the kindergarten, only in that time I realized that I had some issues with my hands because of bullying and I felt very ashamed for that. The situation pushed me to spend time in the classroom even during the recesses trying to do something in my notebook like drawing or painting because I felt that I wasn’t able to have friends. Those challenges in my childhood shaped me as an artist and encouraged me to help children. Now I’m helping children through a non-profit organization to discover and develop their artistic skills though free painting lessons in African countries and South American countries and soon in Utah. In fact, in my next show I will exhibit my paintings and children artwork together to encourage them, it will be in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building during the next general Conference in October 2015.
How do you approach a new painting. I studied oil painting in Lima, then some art lessons in Chile and Europe and my style is realist oil on canvas. I’m always trying to find new mediums and styles, I’ve learned how to paint digitally for the LDS Church Magazines and now I do both, oil on canvas and digital brushes. I work with real models in real scenarios, with real ancient legends and real clothing to make them closer to the reality. I include a lot of people in my compositions to paint huge canvases that take between 6 and 9 months each of them.