Darren Gygi’s career as an artist unofficially began in kindergarten when his teacher, Mrs. Jensen—amazed at the complex rendering created by this very young boy—decided to keep his portrait of a cow for her personal scrapbook.
His Junior High and High School teachers must have thought that Darren was simply a serious student—based on what, to them, must have appeared as constant and thorough note-taking. In truth, Darren spent much of his class time and growing up years doodling relentlessly in the margins and drawing faces and figures throughout the pages of his notebooks. This strategy, however, paid off as the young artist developed a keen ability to capture likenesses and accurately render the human form.
At the university level, Darren was heavily influenced by two instructors, William Whitaker (national portrait artist) and James Christensen (fantasy fine artist) as he pursued his education and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1996. After years of visual study and hands-on exploration, Darren’s passion remained painting the human figure.
Upon graduation, Darren embarked on a career as a freelance artist and illustrator. This rigorous endeavor became his real education as the artist created award-winning artwork for publishers, corporations, and private collectors—all within the constraints of strict deadlines and demanding expectations. Darren always tried to approach his illustration assignments as though he were creating a fine art gallery piece for a museum. Even quick turn-around spot illustrations received the same treatment as the artist prepared each panel for the easel and eventual paint and brushstrokes. Over the ensuing decade, Darren’s top-notch editorial figure work gradually evolved into gallery-quality portrait work.
“Creating something of supreme beauty, usefulness and value is my passion,” says Gygi. “Effectively painting a portrait is one of life’s most challenging endeavors—which is probably why I enjoy it so much. To begin with a blank surface and then to create a final piece of artwork that is both perfectly accurate and absolutely beautiful is an incredibly fulfilling process for me.” It is equally thrilling for the portrait recipient as they become the subject and focus of an exquisite piece of original artwork that will be treasured for generations. “What better way to honor and celebrate someone’s life than to create a stunning document and piece of fine artwork that captures and amplifies their individuality and unique essence?”