Texas artist Jon Flaming is, much like the Lone Star State itself, vast-in interests and richness, in talent and good talk. His studio speaks to a background that is equally diverse. On one side, a large computer cues Flaming's success as a graphic designer whose Dallas-based firm represented a number of Fortune 500 companies and mom and pops alike; and on the other, an easel tells of his turn into full-time fine art, a move he made three years ago, but indeed much earlier.
At just 5 years old, Flaming remembers sitting in Sunday school, engrossed by an older boy's sketch of a jet airplane-a small but seminal moment he credits for helping pave his artistic path, which starts from rural Kansas and leads to big-city Dallas, where as a typical Texas boy, he grew up watching cowboy shows, attending church and playing football. But, as the son of musicians, he also played music, made art and considered a career in architecture. Flaming eventually settled on graphic design, and pursued it while at the same time building equity in the art world. He secured the representation of several Texas art galleries, had pieces in three Texas museums, and created a following for his depictions of rootsy, workingman western culture-dance halls, oil rigs, and ranches.
Jon Flaming was born on December 2, 1962 in Wichita, Kansas. His family moved to Texas in 1968. Visits to his grandparent's Kansas ranch as a boy made a strong impression. It was here that Jon first experienced small town America and the rural countryside and began to capture its unique character and beauty with his camera and sketchbook. "My earliest memories are of rural, middle America," says Flaming, referencing his grandparents' Kansas cattle ranch and his many visits there. "It was such a sweet time for me; I have great memories of seeing a working ranch, the farm equipment, the cattle, and the images of a small-town farming community and everything that goes along with that. So when I could drive, I wanted to get out see everything in Texas that was related to what my memories were as a kid. All of it appeals to me." (Interesting side note, Jon's birthplace may have been Kansas, but his Texas connection is evidenced by the fact that his distant midwestern relative U.S. Senator Charles B. Farwell was responsible for financing the construction of the Texas State Capital in the late 1800's. He also owned the 3,000,000 acre XIT ranch in the Texas Panhandle with his brother John V. Farwell.)
Primarily self-taught, Jon's work has been influenced by a number of artists including William Lester, Everett Spruce, Otis Dozier, Stuart Davis & Marsden Hartley. He works in oil, acrylic and also found materials.
In 1985 Jon graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor's degree in design and for the last 30 years has been creating award-winning images and branding campaigns for many clients including Neiman Marcus, Pizza Hut, The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, The John Wayne Film Festival, Forbes, JCPenney, FedEx, MiltonBradley and Pepsi. His work has been recognized and published by numerous organizations including Communication Arts, Print Magazine, Graphis, and the The Society of Illustrators. Just recently, the John Wayne family asked Jon to partner with them on promoting the John Wayne Brand.
Jon's fine art is in the permanent collection of the Tyler Museum of Art, The Grace Museum in Abilene and also the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art. His work is also in many private & public collections and has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows. The Museum of the Southwest in Midland is hosting a solo show for Jon in the fall of 2020.
Jon lives in Richardson, Texas with his wife Kathy. They have 3 grown children, Hannah (married to Preston), Jake (married to Chelsea) and Mary Margaret (married to David). They also have a grandson - Hudson!