Spending most of his young adult and teen years in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, after having moved there from New Jersey at the age of 9 in 1989, John DiBiase discovered the ability to draw at age 13. Although he had been drawing since he was little, the ability was kept at a minimum and only showed up as “cute” childish sketches. Once a “Born Again Christian” at 13, God placed several things in John’s path that inspired him to learn how to draw.
Bizarrely, the main one came about while collecting trading cards for the hit movie that year, Jurassic Park. A string of cards within the set featured renderings of dinosaurs by an artist named Crash to be used as blueprints for the ones seen in the film. The drawings were highly realistic and extremely detailed. DiBiase found the urge to try to recreate these, and in the process, learned he had somewhat of an ability.Although his first dinosaur sketches are what he considers “laughable” now, it was like formula to a baby and it wasn’t long before he realized he could draw his favorite cartoon characters, namely Darkwing Duck and Garfield.
Without previous training, but seemingly endless practice, DiBiase prompted to take art classes at Nazareth Area High School. Although he claims not much was learned (except for sharpening a pencil with an Xacto knife or lowering the tack on tape by taking the lint off your clothes), he was given projects often to sharpen and develop his skills. In 1997, in his junior year of high school, he found a glitch in a new class scheduling system and took both Art II and Art III in the same year. That spring, he entered groups of projects for each class into the high school’s annual Art show. Ironically, not only did he win 1st place in the art show, but the board for Art II, which he found less desirable, was found the winner.
In the fall of 1998, after graduating from Nazareth, DiBiase enrolled as an advertising/ design major at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA. In his first semester alone, he found he learned more in his “Color and Spatial Concepts” class than he had in all of his high school years combined. Throughout his five semesters there, he took continuous art classes, including Photography, Drawing I, II, and III, Painting I, Graphic Design I & II, Visual Communications, Illustration, Lettering & Typography, Package Design, among others. In December 2000, he completed his Associates at NCC and graduated.
In the summer of 2001, John proposed to long-time girlfriend Amy and the couple tied the knot in a Summer 2003 wedding. Currently, John and Amy and their son Will (2010) reside in Bethlehem, PA where he works full-time on the ever-growing Jesusfreakhideout.com, which he started in 1996. John still occasionally finds time for some drawing on the side as a hobby.
Prints of many of his recent works can be purchased at Etsy.com/shop/JohnDiBiaseArt