John Zamudio is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many call members of this Church Mormons, though that is actually a misnomer implying that Mormons worship someone other than Jesus Christ. John Zamudio was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in the district of San Luis. He is the second of 5 children. When he was just two years old, John was in a bad accident at home, which resulted in both of his hands being severely burned and which left permanent scars. This event took a large role in shaping John’s life. Because he was teased so much by other children because of his hands, he took to playing by himself. Eventually, he found great solace in drawing, and he developed great skill. Through his beautiful drawings, he eventually did connect well with other children, and came to feel more accepted.
At age 17, John was accepted at the National School of Fine Arts in Lima, Peru, where he learned a wide variety of artistic techniques and mediums. He went on to study oil painting at the Art Museum of Quinta Vergara in Vina del Mar, Chile, in 1991. However, he eventually became drawn to the world and a more lucrative career in Business Administration. He put off his dreams of becoming an artist to follow new opportunities, but this change in lifestyle, which he pursued for 15 years, did not agree with John. He missed the stillness and peace of mind he had once found in painting and felt a distinct void in his life.
However, in 2002, John reached a turning point in his life. He lost everything, and was emotionally broken for four years. He suffered from depression and felt completely disillusioned. He felt he had nothing to show for so many years of hard work. One day, in the midst of his deep depression, he stumbled across a box of his old art supplies and was inspired to return to painting without fear of failure. He decided to fight for his dreams.
John had been baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church“) at age 15, and had even served a mission for the Church from ages 19–21. The first painting he created after his disillusionment was of Lehi’s Dream from the Book of Mormon. For him, this painting represented the stage of darkness and gloom in his life that he was able to leave behind through inspiration. John entered the painting into an international competition organized by the Museum of Art and History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2003, in which competition John’s painting won a prize, and he was recognized for his talent.
John feels very grateful for the challenges in his life, which he feels have let him be more in tune with the Spirit and which influence his works today. Though John has an outgoing, cheerful personality, he is quiet and shy. He finds joy in leading a disciplined life, following the principles of good health set forth by the Word of Wisdom, a health law of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoys the physical, mental, and spiritual health which comes as a result of following this advice and of keeping active. John feels that a great deal of his inspiration is a product of the harmony of his physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Now an internationally recognized religious artist, John regularly exhibits his work at the Museum of Art and History in Salt Lake City, Utah. John remembers His Savior and the blessings God has given him, all of which he tries to reflect in his work. He will certainly live on through his beautiful works of art. John was recently interviewed by the TV chain BYU Television International as the first Hispanic artist talented and prominent in religious works.