A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Jim Johnson won his first national art award with crayons in the fifth grade. Now he is a retired Art Director living in Little Rock. He worked at Hallmark Cards in the late ’50s as one of the first writers and designers of the popular, humorous Contemporary Cards.
He co-founded Cranford/Johnson Advertising in 1961 and served as Senior Vice President/ Creative until his retirement in 2000. He has won many national graphic design awards and was recently named a Distinguished Alumnus at the University of Arkansas Fulbright College Department of Art. He has recently been honored by the Arkansas Arts Council as a 2012 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Awards.
After retirement, he started painting and working in acrylics and pastels as a student at the Arkansas Arts Center School.
His art ranges from imaginative landscapes to whimsical figurative subjects.
“Having been an advertising artist and working on a multitude of different accounts, I paint in different styles and subject matters. I just can’t settle on one style or subject and stick with it. I’d be bored stiff. I often work in pastels on top of acrylics.”
In addition to his paintings, Jim creates small 9″ x 9″ original cartoons of facets of life as he sees them. They make perfect gifts.
His work appears in over one hundred private collections in Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas– Washington, DC– Sao Paulo Brazil–Memphis, TN–Boulder, CO–California and Westport, Connecticut. His art is owned by President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of Chapaqua, NY, Senator Blanche Lincoln and Senator Mark Pryor. He is included in The Arkansas Center on Aging Collection and The Clinton Presidential Library Thea Collection.