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Classes with Aaron Zonka

As a kid Aaron loved to draw. His early inspiration came from cartoons and video games of the 90s such as Ren and Stimpy, Aaaaa! Real Monsters, Sonic the Hedgehog, Megaman, Super Mario Brothers, and, most of all, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As he got older, Aaron’s teachers decided he should probably learn how to read. Since he was a dyslexic kid, this turned out to be more of a challenge than anyone would have liked. But then Aaron found comics. Calvin and Hobbes was the key to Aaron becoming an avid consumer of stories. Calvin and Hobbes made way for comic books like Elfquest and The Maxx. Which led to more mind-bending European comics, first spotted in the pages of a buxom Heavy Metal Magazine. At the same time, the fantastical images of RPGs and Magic the Gathering carved out a big place in Aaron’s visual sensibilities.

Aaron’s own visual style started to take shape during his time in art school, combining elements of a more formal education in figure drawing and portraiture with comic book and cartoon sensibilities. Beyond visual influences, Aaron’s work is inspired by poetic moments of the world; the grotesque and the beautiful. He is fascinated with how people—himself, his friends, and the great masters of yore—relate to creativity and inspiration. In spite of the responsibility of adulthood, all Aaron wants to do is draw and daydream.

Aaron is an independent artist, illustrator and educator. He lives and works in California's East Bay. 

Past Clients include: Marc Maron (of WTF fame), Slough Feg, KQED,We are California Grown,mini and the Bear, Lazercat, B.O.S.S, TSRA, Rock Band land, Clever .ink, Family and Children's Services of Silicon Valley, and many more.   

His art has been featured in: Spectrum 26: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, East Bay Art Book (2021), and Threadless.


IG: @aaronzonka

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