John D. Dawson was born and raised in San Diego, California. With the support of his class John was encouraged to follow his dreams of a career in art. John graduated from the Art Center School in Los Angeles, California which is now The Art Center College of Art and Design. John served in the Army Reserves while beginning his art career. Detroit, Michigan and automobile art kept him occupied for a year after college when he returned to San Diego and entered the world of advertising. John’s gift of illustration offered him full-time employment for sixteen years while completing free-lance illustration jobs on the side.
For the past thirty years John has completed major assignments for the United States Postal Service, National Geographic Society & National Geographic Magazine, National Wildlife Federation & Ranger Rick Magazine, Audubon Society and Audubon Magazine, United Nations, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Imiloa Astronomy Center among many other clients including private commissions. During the most recent twelve years John has worked continuously with the USPS. The “Nature in America” series of twelve individual panes depicting various bioms across the US is one of his proudest accomplishments.
Today one can find Dawson’s artwork included within the maps provided to visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as well as the stunning educational display inside the Kilauea Visitor Center. One of Dawson’s proudest accomplishments is theNature in Americastamp series which includes a lush depiction of The Hawaiian Rainforest created for theUnited States Postal Service. Dawson’s resume includes many major assignments for theNational Geographic Society,National Wildlife Federation,Audubon Society,United Nationsand the‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and has appeared inadditionalnational publications. With decades of experience, Dawson’s work continues to captivate audiences. John and his wife Kathleen have lived in Hilo for over twenty two years.