Jeral Tidwell

From the start I was on the run, given freedom of expression from my first breath.

I was born in 1969 in sunny Southern California of two rebellious teenagers running from the restricted small town atmosphere of Northern Louisiana. Since teenagers with a newborn can only run so long, I was brought up in the swamps of Louisiana.

As an infant I had no interest in learning to talk, communicating with gestures that what I really wanted was a pencil; so a cheap roll of butcher paper and a box of crayons became my baby sitter. From that point there was no turning back, art became my life.

After receiving encouragement throughout high school to continue drawing, I realized that not only was art to be an essential part of my personal life, it was to be my career as well. With no formal training I started my professional art career in 1988 as an airbrush artist in the mall of my small town, after several years airbrushing, I moved into graphic design and illustration… that’s when my world opened up to the amazing number of possibilities that creative thinking can provide. Since 1988 I’ve designed art for everything from hot sauce labels to skateboard decks, for clients ranging from the Mayor of New Orleans to Interscope Record Company. I’ve also been lucky enough to show my paintings in galleries from LA to NY, in books and magazines about everything from Hot Rod cars and Concert posters to Tattoo magazines and Sci-Fi art books.

Growing up in the seventies and then the early eighties as a teenager there was no shortage of incredibly talented artist that I could steal ideas from in order to sharpen my skills as an artist… Guys like Jim Phillips, Derek Riggs, Puss Head and Ed Roth created the art that would change my life and send me into my head searching for my own twisted version of reality. Making it into the 90s I was introduced to the art of Robert Williams, Todd Schorr, Alphonse Mucha and Frank Kozik…

That’s when my art began to really take shape. I fell in Love with their dense, over detailed style and couldn’t help but to let go of the reigns and see just how far I could take my art. After making rock show posters for bands like Kid Rock, Dick Dale, Widespread Panic, Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, and Alkaline Trio… I wanted expand my horizons into one of my favorite art forms… Skateboard deck art, I have wanted to do skateboard graphics since I saw my first deck, so in early 2003 my search began for a deck company who would give me a chance. My break Reliance skateboard Co. , starting with 2 of my paintings being made into decks, after an awesome response to the art, they have given me a lot of freedom to create deck graphics and express my creative energy in this ever growing world of art.