Rich Boyd—Artist, Designer, Photographer, and Writer

Rich Boyd grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Commercial Design, as well as U.S. Army commissioning ceremonies, 2nd Lieutenant Rich was ordered to report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to train as an Infantry Officer. He completed Airborne School, Infantry Officer’s Basic and Ranger School at Ft. Benning, Georgia before orders arrived for Viet Nam. Rich was assigned to the First Brigade of the decorated 101st Airborne Division where he served as an Infantry Platoon Leader. Wounded in the middle of his tour, Rich returned to the U.S. to serve at the Dept. of Army Headquarters, Infantry Branch, in Washington D.C. until the end of his active Duty obligation.

Afterward Rich returned to school on the G.I. Bill and earned a BS with Honors in Transportation Design at Art Center College, now located in Pasadena, California. Hired upon graduation, Rich and his bride Linda traveled to Detroit, Michigan where he began working as an exterior body designer for Chrysler Corporation. Three years and a baby daughter later, Rich left Chrysler to return to warmer climates. Returning to Southern California industrial design jobs employed Rich’s skills including Mattel Toys, Mattel Electronics, Revell Models, Mazda of North America, and Fleetwood Enterprises. In the late ’80s he made a fun-filled career change into automotive publishing. For 23-years Rich was employed as a journalist taking pictures of and writing about hot rods, custom cars and trucks. In 2007 Rich started a new title for the Action Pursuit Group called The World of RODS. He soon learned the publishing world had changed and Rich changed with it.

Retiring from publishing in 2009 his days now are pleasantly filled painting in his studio loft. Oil on canvas or linen is his first choice of materials, but he’s also investigating colored pencil applied on various papers and gesso-covered panels. Rich enjoys painting automotive subjects, western heritage themes and portraits. His Southwest travels have provided him with photographic references for horses, wranglers and landscapes. “I feel compelled to document the cowboy way of life while it still exists. But on occasion I’ll paint more contemporary themes such as hot rods and exotic automobiles. I’m still a car guy . . . that will never change.”

As a member of the Masters of the Huntington Beach Art League Rich attends monthly meetings and competes in local art shows. The inspiration and motivation each meeting brings has helped improve his technique and knowledge of oil paint properties. Numerous awards have been bestowed in the past 5-years, including a twelve Best of Show awards and dozens of First Place awards for oil painting, pencil drawing and Mixed Media (as of 2017). The efforts are earning Rich national attention. But there’s always more to learn when painting in different light conditions. “To become a better painter, I work constantly to become a better photographer. My passion for western heritage themes comes from my childhood experiences in Tucson, Arizona.

Education: BFA Commercial Art, University of Arizona; BS with Honors Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California

Best of Show Awards:
Anaheim Art Association 2012
Best of Show 2012, Traditional Artist’s Guild, Paramount, CA
Best of Show 2015, Traditional Artist’s Guild, Paramount, CA
Best of Show 2016, Traditional Artist’s Guild, Paramount, CA
Huntington Beach Art League 2014 Members’ Fall Show
Lakewood Artist Guild 2014 Spring Show
Best of Show 2016, Colored Pencil Society of America, Chapter 214
Mountain Oyster Show 2014 & 2015, Tucson, AZ
Traveling the West 2015, Dallas, TX

For more information about Rich, visit his site,


Rich’s photo gallery includes artwork from his Chrysler days, artwork that got him a position at Street Rodder magazine, studio art, and images from his spectacular ’40 Ford Pickup build.

Articles published by The World of Rods feature Rich’s ’40 Ford Pickup. Exhaust; How to Build Exhaust Systems That Breathe and Last was published in 2007, and This Old Truck; Pro Paint Tips: Prepping and Reading Body Surfaces was published in 2008. Both articles are available in PDF format. Just click on the covers.

John Manoogian’s silver 70-1/2 Camaro

John Manoogian II sold his silver 70-1/2 Camaro to me. John kept the Camaro immaculate—washing/waxing it often. This shot taken in front of my first Long Beach home around 1981. There was a small rust hole down low in the front fender below the SS. I had it repaired and painted a darker silver. There were Gabriel air shock in the rear with about 140-Lbs of pressure. The Camaro cornered like a slot car. Notice the slightly larger rear tires on American mags. Only my two Corvettes have been slightly more fun to drive. The 3/4-rear blind-spot scared me more than once. I installed a wide WINK mirror to see when changing lanes (at speed) on California freeways.

Some time in the first year John Manoogian II put his 1970-1/2 Camaro up for sale—I bought it. Interestingly, John was the second owner—the first was a designer at Ford. So, the Camaro was owned by designers at all three major car companies. I think it was because of my VW van that I was included in the planning/design phase of the T-115 minivan at Chrysler. Harold Sperlic was the product planner who started the front-wheel-drive movement at Chrysler. Soon there was a migration of Ford people who followed Harold.

1970 VW Westfalia

It was my great fortune to earn a GM Scholarship at Art Center College – 1/2 the first semester and the second-half the 3rd semester. My 1976 class was the first to graduate from the new Pasadena, CA campus. John Manoogian II was a 5th semester student when I was a 1st semester Trans major. John’s GM project was most impressive for both design and model-building. We remain friends and keep in touch with Facebook. It was inspirational to see the critiques of the older students and accounts for my earning a BS with Honors. After graduation my wife and I drove our 1970 VW Westfalia van to Detroit, settling in Royal Oak in an apartment at 13-mile and Crooks.

  1. John Manoogian II

    Thanks for posting Rich’s work. He & his family have been dear friends since Art Center in the ‘70’s. He is a great talent. His Western paintings are just wonderful, and a great follow up to his design career. An all around fantastic guy.

  2. Ken Bowes

    If I’m not mistaken I was at Art Center at about the same time as Rich Boyd. 1973 -early 75. That is if he’s the fellow I think I knew!

    Ken Bowes

  3. Dennis F. Otto

    Well John, you sure had a very nice Camaro! Couldn’t afford one new, ACCD cost to much; now I really can’t! DFO ACCD 1/74

  4. Walter Gomez

    Really nice, actually great portraits! I also was ACCD during the same period, 1975-1977. Bill Mitchell as I recall was the featured speaker at the 1976 graduation.

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