by Phil Vance

About Phil Vance

Phil Vance Bio


Born in 1978 in Sonora, California, Phil Vance has always lived and breathed art. He first discovered the vast world of art in his parents bookstore where he spent many hours looking through art books. Customers who might have stopped in for a latte taught him how to draw and would often spend hours drawing with him in the bookstore. Soon, family and friends encouraged him to pursue his love and passion. 

In high school art became his escape, a daily exercise inspired by the many artists who showed him how to see the world from new perspectives. His teachers, while complimenting his talent inspired him to work hard in order to develop his skills and encouraged him to work in many mediums beyond the safety of drawing.

In 1998, he attended U.C. Davis to pursue a degree in Computer Science. He continued to take art classes and soon the desire became so strong that he changed his major to Fine Arts. At U.C. Davis, he trained in drawing, painting, photography and printmaking, studying under artists Conrad Atkinson, Lynn Hershman Leeson, David Hollowell, and Cornelia Schulz. He was influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, who was Professor Emeritus at the time and friend of Willem de Kooning, a major role model and inspiration.

After graduation in 2003, Phil continued to refine his techniques while exploring new media and ideas.

He moved to Newport Beach in Southern California in 2006 to work as a graphic designer for a real estate investment firm. He learned to be creative under pressure and manage multiple projects and responsibilities. He was quickly promoted to Art Director where he gained confidence in his talents and began to find his creative voice. In 2011, he knew it was time to become a full time artist and leave the corporate world behind.

Since moving back to Sonora, he has worked tirelessly to develop his unique style and create new techniques. Phil is not only a prolific artist, often turning out 10 to 12 works a month, but he is also a wildly creative mind capable of producing work in nearly any style or medium.

While he is currently gaining much exposure and notoriety for his innovative portraits rendered entirely in words, he would one day like to be recognized as one of the best abstract artists of today and see his work in art galleries around the world.