Born in 1967, John Golden is the son of a watercolorist mother and a folk singer / storyteller father. He loved to draw from an early age, and for that reason, his school work often suffered.
When John was 10 years old, his mother opened a gallery to show and sell her watercolors. John spent half of his afternoons in the back room of the gallery, building model buildings out of scrap mat board and the other half wandering the historic city around the gallery. Many historic but decrepit buildings had recently been torn down, so the area was full of scrap materials, found relics and textures, and John developed a love for the unintentional design that exists in urban environments.
Shortly after the gallery opened John began to work in linoleum block printing, and sold his artwork in his mother’s gallery. The success of those prints, and an interest in regional history led John to create a series of hand-tinted pen and ink reproductions of the North Carolina Lighthouses. He spent a major part of his teen years hand tinting lighthouses until his art took a different direction in high school, where he discovered his love of Photography.
After completing his college degree in Graphic Design, there was a new development in the field – the introduction of desktop computers. A summer job as Building Monitor in the art department afforded access to the computer lab. He taught himself how to use the Apple Macintosh and the few programs that were available then, and then went out into the professional world of Graphic Design.
A sideline in freelance illustration took John out of the in-house corporate world and into the world of broadcast design. He was given the opportunity to design, illustrate and animate on projects for clients like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. The labor intensive process and the high standards to which his work was held pushed John to develop his art even further, and also to strike out on his own.
The move into the freelance world also meant a move back to his hometown and his family’s gallery. John needed a way to get his art out of the computer and into the hands of his patrons. Fortunately, archival printing from the desktop soon became available, and John was an early adopter of the growing process.
John now works in the Golden Gallery, creating his digital illustration full-time. Somehow, he manages to squeeze some digital photography in there as well. He is back to spending his afternoons in the places he loves.