Ever since he can remember, John Alvin has used his art as a form of communication - a means of reaching out. Born in 1948 in the less wealthy section of Hyannis, MA, the youngest of two children and son of an army officer, John rarely lived in one place for more than a year or so. For five years, between the ages of five and ten, the family lived in Germany, and then moved back to the U.S. to Colorado Springs. "I have always been artistic, and that ability helped me integrate into new groups in new schools," he recalls.
"I could draw cool cars, tanks, and army men, and that helped me quite a bit in readjusting."
His father's last assignment was Monterey, CA where John completed junior high and high school. He wanted to study medicine, and went to the University of California at Santa Cruz. "Everyone told me I should be a professional artist, so I tried to do something different," he laughs. After three weeks of chemistry he knew they were right and he switched to junior college to gain sufficient credits for acceptance at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
John studied ad design and was groomed for life as a commercial artist. "I have always been fascinated by drawing - it came naturally to me. I remember back in first grade drawing a house. Mine was in perspective and the other children's were not. The teacher asked me how I did that, and I said, ‘Because that is how it looks.'"