Remembering Jack Unruh


Yesterday the illustration world lost a great artist and friend: Jack Unruh. Today we share a small collection of his work along with a few words of tribute from some of his fellow creators.


“Jack Unruh was the kind of artist who you knew about and loved and admired, and when you met him he makes it all about you. A generous person and one we all should remember and emulate. So happy to have known him. – Tim O’Brien

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“I admire his masterful drawing skills, his fearless use of negative space, and his creativeness with composition. He was an illustrator who had great range with subject matter, he was equally adept at creating stunningly beautiful depictions of animals and biting satirical caricatures of politicians. I was instantly charmed with his gentle nature and his genuine interest in other people’s experiences. I’m not surprised so many people who knew him well are referring to Jack as a gentle giant.” – Jody Hewgill

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“A mark of his integrity in this industry is the astonishing fact that when you bring up his name, people don’t talk about his drawings first, but about his genuine spirit.” – John  Hendrix




An illustration depicts the Iroquois Prayer of Thanksgiving.


Thanks Jack.

Jack Unruh Website >>


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Categories: Illustrators

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6 Comments on “Remembering Jack Unruh”

  1. May 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    So sad to hear this, Jack Unruh was a real talented illustrator and an inspiration for everyone

  2. May 20, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    A special talent.

  3. Nathan Wakeman
    May 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Jack is one of my favorites, and he always informed and influenced my art. I would search online and scour magazines each month in anticipation of his next illustration, spot or otherwise. I’m hoping someone will make a book comprehensive of Jack’s work and career. Jack has pen & ink and watercolor wings now, and he will be missed. An awful lot.
    Thanks so much, Jack…only if you’re sure you can’t come back, and draw for us a little more. Miss you.

    • November 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

      Hi Nathan, you probably know by now that some of dad’s close friends got together and published an edited grouping of drawings, doodles, writing, and gorgeous full color plates taken from his many journals kept over the last 20 odd years? Fish and other Stories as my pen remembers them, published by Herrington Press.

  4. R Temple
    May 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Jack told me I needed to change my major in college…a somewhat murky graphic design/ jewelry designer degree. I was just crushed and knowing I had to graduate and make a living, he guided me into art education. Of course, my first year in elementary school was painful, but the second year in secondary art, I knew the first day, that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I always considered Jack, my guardian angel.

    • November 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi R Temple: I was surprised he didn’t steer me away from Environmental Design, nor later from Jewelry Design. He told me to do what I loved and the money would come… I guess it’s harder to advise one’s own children….but am very glad he was able to help you out and you found your calling!


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