David Vargo

Adjunct Faculty


I was born and raised in the small town of Erie, Pennsylvania. Being the son of factory workers, I wasn't surrounded by art. However, everyone in my family had an intense creative streak. My mother decorated cakes and ceramic ornaments. My uncle Robert was my biggest art influence. He introduced me to the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy illustration. In high school I found that I could draw rapidly. This gave me the ability to fully realize all the mysterious and crazy things that dwelt in my head. In my junior year I was introduced to painting. This catapulted my visions into another realm. After serving my country as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, I realized that the creative side of my brain wanted to stretch its muscles. I found that my greatest love of art was as a visual storyteller. So, naturally, I set out to become an illustrator. I enrolled fulltime at the Laguna College of Art and Design. I did well in college, capturing a few awards in competitions. While in art school I supplemented my income by making and selling portraits and small-scale illustrations. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine arts in Illustration from LCAD. I took a year off and found that I wanted to pursue painting even further. I enrolled into an MFA program and earned my Master's Degree in Fine Arts in Illustrationfrom from California State University at Long Beach. During this time I found another love, teaching. From all my time at school I learned that the artistic/academic environment contains an energy that is found in few places. I love seeing the "light-bulb" light up on a student when they discover an important artistic facet. Often I find myself on the receiving end of the wonderful experience of learning. This is my attraction to education: the sharing of knowledge. The materials and techniques that I use continue to evolve, but I am at heart a traditional painter. I continue to pursue illustration and continue to teach and learn from students in my classes.