John Bell, Principal, JohnBell Studio
With a love of car design, John received his BA in Transportation Design from Art Center in Pasadena. Just out of college, he went to work as a designer at General Motors Advanced Concept Studio in Detroit. As his design goals would expand, he moved out to California as a conceptual artist at Atari Games. By the late 1980’s, John joined George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic where he would work on and off for the next twenty years as an illustrator and art director. During his time at ILM, John collaborated on numerous landmark special effects films including Star Trek IV, Innerspace and the film classics Back to the Future II & III, which he was nominated for an Academy Award and won a BAFTA. In 1991, John moved to Los Angeles to work as Art Director on Steven Spielberg’s effects blockbuster Jurassic Park.
After the success of JP, John took a break from film to pursue new challenges at Nike as a Senior Designer working on everything from footwear and clothing to graphics and new brand concepts. He would later return to Northern California to continue providing concept art on numerous films such as: Men in Black, Mission Impossible, Contact, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Starship Trooper. He would then go on to Production Design in Dreamworks’ first animated CG feature ANTZ.
Upon the completion of ANTZ, John moved into video game design at Electronic Arts as a Senior Concept Designer. His work is featured in many video games such as Freekstyle, The Simpsons, On the Boarder, Godfather II, and fan favorite Dead Space. During this time, he also provided freelance design work on the following animated films: Cars, Mars Loves Moms, Arthur Christmas, Cars2, and The Penguins of Madagascar.
He would then return to ILM to work as a concept artist on the Academy Award winning films Rango, Pirates IV and the 2015 Best Picture of the Year, The Revenant. Over the years, his many advertising and product design clients have included: Nike, BMW, Samsung, New Belgium Brewing Co., Hasbro, Mattel, Wyoming Board of Tourism, Colorado State University, and Suerte Tequila.
Throughout his career, John’s personal art has been sold in numerous galleries throughout the country, featured on ESPN Sports, the cover of Juxtapose magazine and in other publications. Currently, John resides with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.