About Me

       Javier Soto is a mostly self taught Custom painter/ airbrush artist from Fairview NJ. He is known for his combination of sharp and clean rendering and his dynamic use of color and also his photorealistic portraiture. Javier was born 1969 in Hoboken, New Jersey. In the 1950’s his parents had migrated from Puerto Rico to New York in search of a better life. As a child Javier was first influenced by his oldest brother and sister who were very artistic at a young age and would draw cartoons for him while he watched in awe. Later on, as his brother and sister drifted into other interests, Javier's passion for art continued as he then started finding inspiration through comics and graffiti books. Living so close to New York and being a teenager in the early 80's leaves no doubt as to why graffiti was such an influence for him as New York is the birth place of graffiti. At the age of 15 he was asked to paint a graffiti mural in a friend's house but until then all of his graffiti art was created with markers and brushes on paper or fabric as his strict Christian (Seventh Day Adventist) upbringing discouraged the unethical side of the art... In other words no... "tags" or "pieces" on walls and no aerosol spray paint... yet. So when that friend suggested he try an airbrush to do the mural, he jumped at the chance... So at the age of 15 He decided to buy this then interesting sounding tool "the airbrush" and he's never put it down since.

    In 1989, at the age of 20, he took a break from college and decided to take a job offer airbrushing at T-Rex, a custom airbrush apparel / leather shop in NYC. This shop specialized in portraiture and graffiti. There he learned a lot and developed more on the professional side of the craft as well. After approximately two years there he bounced around to a few new shops and in1996 along with a partner he opened a shop, Airhead Grafix in Saddle Brook NJ. It was also that year that he visited an Airbrush Action Getaway workshop and met Cliff Stieglitz, the owner and CEO of Airbrush Action Magazine and was invited to write a how-to article on family portraits for the magazine. So by1996 he had his first published article. It was also around that time when he felt ready to start offering automotive art... He had been researching and practicing automotive painting techniques for a few years at that point. In late 1997 he partnered with one of his regular clients (an auto body shop owner) to startup a custom paint business. In 1998 Paintrix Custom Paint & Graphics in Hackensack NJ was established. There he painted art on motorcycles and cars. In 2001 he was invited to join the prestigious airbrush action getaway's staff where he taught alongside airbrush greats like Terry Hill, Craig Fraser and Steve Driscoll. In 2004 he was offered a position as head custom painter at Black Label Choppers a custom motorcycle shop in Dover NJ. As the popularity of custom choppers and motorcycles faded down in New Jersey, so has the demand for motorcycle painting. At present he is still working with Black Label as a freelance custom painter and also works with other shops in the area. Nowadays his talents also include body painting, pin striping, digital illustration, gold leafing and he's willing to learn anything new that he can add to his skill set. Since his connection with airbrush action magazine he has become a regular contributor to the magazine writing many how-to articles, creating 3 instructional DVD titles to date and still instructing for the Airbrush Action Getaways. Thru out the years his work has been featured in many publications and television shows from Minitruckin' Magazine to America's Next Top Model.

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© 2013 Javier Soto Designs

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