Jeffrey Smith was born on April 9,1956 in Montebello, California. He studied photography and commercial art at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Using his trade school portfolio he entered the Art Center College Of Design.

There he met his first real mentor, Philip Harrison Hays, and executed 12 Mexican Album covers with Hays for the ubiquitous art director, Roger Black. In 1979, 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 his second major influence, James McMullan. “Besides the fact that I learned a great deal about watercolor from both men, Jim really encouraged me to make credible images that told a story." It was also at this time that he met and worked with poster artist Paul Davis. After that, there was a steady stream of assignments. And in 1985, Fred Woodward asked Jeff to create 6 full-page murder illustrations for 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 Smith to enter the Masters program for illustration at the School Of Visual Arts. Already emerging as a serious illustrator, Jeff was reticent to accept Mr. Arisman's offer. But he realized he had more to learn, and learn he did from Robert Weaver, Marshall Arisman, and James McMullan. The program was called Visual Journalism, and it encouraged students to draw on the street, from first hand experience. This attitude gave Jeff a point of view, albeit not an easy one, that would enable him to execute re-creation and fiction assignments for the next twenty-five years.

Smith attended the School Of Visual Arts as a full scholarship student, and began teaching with James McMullan in the undergraduate program at that same time. 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 the newsstands. This work received a Silver medal from the Society of Illustrators. Smith graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1986. In 1987, Smith did several feature assignments for Sports Illustrated, and his work was featured in Communication Arts, and How magazine.

Today, Smith is a full time Professor at the Art Center College of Design, where he has taught since 1994. He is also a freelance illustrator, and his work continues to thrive. He has won numerous awards from CA, the New York Society Of Illustrators, Print, the A.I.G.A., the Society Of Newspaper Design, The Society Of Publication Designers, and the University & College Designers Association. His clients include Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The New York Times, The New York Times magazine and New York magazines, to name a few. Smiths’ work consistently appears in American Illustration and The Society Of Illustrators in New York, where Smith received a Gold medal in 2004.


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

Instructor Jeffrey Smith's Class Drawings and Paintings.

Printed Pages

Figure Drawing


Caravaggio Biography
Handmade Oil Painting Reproductions - sponsor of Wikigallery.org

More Related Sites








© Jeffrey Smith 2010