Christopher John Rios [SCH NRA 2017-2023]

Christopher John Rios

First name: Christopher John ;
Middle name:
Last name:
Rios ;

Member: Scholarship non-resident artist member ;
2017 ;
2023 ;


When asked how long I’ve been drawing airplanes, the answer is simply “for as long as I can remember.” My uncle, who was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy, says he could identify my airplane drawings by the time I was five years old.

Aviation has been a continuous interest for me, and for a period of almost ten years, my livelihood. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around trips to the local airports to watch planes land and take-off. None of my family was surprised when I left college about halfway through to join the US Air Force (I claimed burnout, but everyone knew it had only been a matter of time). Now the military jets I’d spent most of my youth studying, became part of my daily life — and the fascination with all things airplane intensified.

The last half of the 80’s were a great time for my art career. Access to military aircraft provided a unique perspective on modern military aviation and was one of the factors that prompted the extreme level of detail in my illustrations. Pen and ink was the medium of choice at that time and numerous commissions from co-workers kept me scribbling constantly.

Then, the 90’s came. After leaving the Air Force, and spending several years in the California Air National Guard, the drawing career essentially came to a halt. New jobs, and starting a family became priorities and I put the pens away. Two airplane drawings and one piece of nose art were my entire artistic output for the entire decade.

During recovery from back surgery in early 2000, a sign for an aviation art show at the local municipal airport prompted me to dust off some of the old pieces I still had lying around and set up a display. One realization struck rather quickly — I didn’t have enough pieces to show, so I set out to remedy that shortcoming. With a lot of time on my hands, I started drawing — a lot. One major change was the switch from pen and ink to pencil/graphite. This change took my work to a new level. With numerous commissions and freelance pieces completed since then, my career as an aviation artist is now climbing at a steady rate. I am available for commissions for all types of aircraft, and I am continuing to increase my portfolio of freelance work as well.




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Document permalink: 72838

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Record birth date:
December 23, 2019

Last updated: February 11, 2024 at 13:37 pm

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