Jeffrey Smith was born on April 9,1956 in Montebello, California. He studied photography and commercial art at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Jeff entered the Art Center College Of Design in 1977.

In 1979 Smith executed 12 Mexican Album covers with Philip Hays for art director, Roger Black. That same year, Smith received an Award of Merit student prize from the Society Of Illustrators in New York, and attended The Illustrators Workshop in Tarrytown, N. Y. Smith, achieved full scholarship at Art Center, earned a BFA degree and graduated in 1980 with honors.

Six months after graduating from Art Center, Smith moved from Los Angeles to Croton on Hudson, N. Y. In his first year, Smith executed cover assignments for New York and Time magazines, and illustrations for Redbook, Inside Sports, and Book of the Month. In 1982, Smith apprenticed with James McMullan, as well as poster artist Paul Davis.After that, there was a steady stream of assignments. In 1983, Smith created the A.I.G.A. poster for art director Roger Black. In 1985, Fred Woodward asked Jeff to create 6 full-page murder illustrations in two consecutive issues of Texas Monthly magazine.

The assignment would be the first of many such assignments that would mark the beginning of an emerging philosophy and style in Smith's portfolio. Other murder / re-creation assignments for Los Angeles Magazine, Rolling Stone, G.Q., The New York Times Magazine, would follow.

Smith met Marshall Arisman in 1984. Arisman convinced Jeff to enter the Masters program for illustration at the School Of Visual Arts. Already emerging as a serious illustrator, Jeff was honored to accept Mr. Arisman's encouragement. The faculty included Robert Weaver, Marshall Arisman, James McMullan and Steven Heller. The program was called Visual Journalism. The faculty encouraged students to draw on the street from first hand experience. While attending the MFA program, Smith met visiting lecturer and art director Robert Priest. Priest commissioned Smith to paint Mikhail Gorbachev for the cover of Newsweek magazine. That same week, Smith's cover illustration for the Sophisticated Traveler, New York Times magazine appeared on newsstands.

Smith began teaching with James McMullan in the undergraduate program in 1985.

Smith graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1986. In 1987, Smith received a Silver medal from the Society of Illustrators. Smith did several feature assignments for Sports Illustrated, and his work was featured in Communication Arts, and How magazine.

Smith received Gold medals in 2004 and 2006. In 2005, Jeff executed 23 illustrations for "Comfort To The Enemy" by Elmore Leonard. The work was printed in 14 consecutive issuess of the New York Times magazine, Special Edition: The Funny Pages. In 2009, Smith created Cover Art and 22 full color, full page illustrations for the pulp history book, "Shadow Knights, The Secret War Against Hitler." In 2012, the Society of Illustrators New York presented, Shadow Knights, The Art of Jeffrey Smith, a one man show in their Hall of Fame Gallery. In 2010, Smith was given a Special invitation by Golf Digest to attend the 2010 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Smith created 8 full color illustrations and a process video for an article, "MemorableMoments," 8 portraits of 8 great golfers in 8 great locations on the course at Augusta. On December 15th, 2015, Smith's work, along with several other illustrators hung in the Senate Russell Rotunda Building in Washington, D.C. "Bravery and Sacrifice: NYPD Heroes 9/11 and Beyond" was an art show created to help pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and to memorialize and commemorate the NYPD personnel response to the events of September 11, 2001. The show was sponsored by the Society of Illustrators in NYC. In 2017, Smith created cover art for The March issue of The Atlantic, How To Build an Autocracy. In 2018, Smith's work was featured on the cover of New York Magazine for the sensational book excerpt, Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff. Today, Smith is a full time prfessor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has taught there since 1994.


Who is Jeffrey Smith?



Jeffrey Smith began his editorial illustration career in 1979 and is the recipient of numerous awards in illustration.

What Jeff Does

Today Jeffrey Smith is a full time Professor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His clients include Newsweek, Rolling Stone, G.Q. and The New York Times.


Contact Information

Jeffrey Smith
642 Moulton Avenue
Suite E22
Los Angeles, CA. 90031


Related Sites






Jeffrey Smith 2010