Boris Vallejo is a Peruvian illustrator and fantasy artist. Boris was always interested in art as a child, but his curiosity first revealed itself in music. After a few years of practicing the violin, he picked up a paintbrush. He noticed at the age of 13 that he had a natural ability and a passion for drawing. At the age of 16, he received offers to study art overseas, but he chose to develop his talent at a local art school. In 1964, at the age of 23, he moved to America to pursue his ambition of becoming a famous artist. Despite not speaking English and having only a few pennies to his name, he set out to make a living in New York City. He resided in a low-income district of the Bronx until landing a job as an illustrator for a department shop. The sketches of fantasy barbarian warriors such as Tarzan and Conan were his big break. This enabled him to establish a successful freelancing career in the fantasy art field.
Youth and Early Life
Boris Vallejo was born in Lima, Peru on January 8, 1941. His father was a prominent attorney.
Vallejo’s initial passion was the violin. He studied violin for seven years. Vallejo stopped violin for the majority of his early years in order to pursue medical studies.
After two years of medical school, he quit and enrolled in Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. He was awarded a five-year scholarship to study painting at this institution.
He rapidly demonstrated artistic promise. When he was 16 years old, he was given the opportunity to study art in Florence, but he declined. Instead, in 1964 Vallejo assembled a portfolio and came to the United States.
Boris Vallejo’s Career
In 1964, Vallejo relocated to New York City. He did not speak English and was destitute. His only hope was that his art would be more successful in this country than in Peru.
His first position was as an illustrator for a retail business. After six months, he was promoted to the main office due to his outstanding performance. Here, he met Doris, who would eventually become his first wife.
After eight years as an illustrator, he decided to switch careers. He quit his job and began working independently. During this time, Vallejo developed a passion for fantasy art. At a comic convention, he was introduced to the genre by viewing a comic book cover.
Human anatomy has always been his area of expertise. The genre of fantasy art provided him with an outlet for his talent. He became a rising star in the industry very quickly.
His depictions of fantasy action heroes like Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, and Doc Savage resulted in a rapidly expanding fan base. The film industry took notice, and he started receiving jobs designing movie posters.
He utilized this following as a springboard to obtain employment in other fields. He worked in advertising and created artwork for Franklin Mint Paraphernalia collectibles.
Boris Vallejo was extremely busy in the 1970s. He amassed more than three hundred credits for book illustrations, movie posters, and advertisements. This cemented his position as one of the greatest fantasy authors.
Vallejo spent the majority of the 1980s working on movie posters. He created the movie posters for “Knightriders” (1981), “Q” (1982), “Barbarian Queen” (1985), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), and “European Vacation” (1984). (1985).
Currently, he devotes the majority of his time to working with his wife, the artist, and model Julie Bell. The couple publishes an annual collection of their joint works.
Boris’s Major Opera
As Vallejo is an artist with a vast body of work, it is difficult to determine which are the best. “The Amazon Princess and Her Pet” is one of his most significant paintings. It earned him the best artist award from the British Fantasy Awards.
His initial illustrations of Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian were another important work. These illustrations contributed to the buzz that Vallejo used to launch his career.
Awards & Achievements
He won the British Fantasy Award for best artist in 1979. It was for his painting entitled “The Amazon Princess with Her Pet.”
Personal History and Legacy
His initial spouse was Doris Vallejo. Boris’s first illustration job was where the couple met. Together, they had two children: a son named Dorian and a daughter named Maya. Dorian is a painter, following in his father’s footsteps, and Maya is a professional photographer.
His current second wife is Julie Bell. With her, he has two stepsons, namely Anthony and David. Both of them are illustrators of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Estimated Net Worth
Boris Vallejo’s estimated net worth is $1 million and his primary source of income is as an artist and painter. We lack sufficient evidence regarding Boris Vallejo’s automobiles and way of life.
Vallejo moved to the United States for the first time, he did so with very little money. He paid $5 per week in rent and barely had enough money to eat.