Chuck Trunks has lived in Ventura County for the last 23 years and has made Camarillo, California his home for the past 17 years. After
studying fine art and art appreciation at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Chuck moved to Raleigh, NC where he obtained a B.S.
in biochemistry and did graduate work in the area of genetic engineering at North Carolina State University. Chuck spent most of his
corporate career at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA where he held positions in the areas of research, manufacturing, information systems,
project management and business analysis.
Today, Chuck works as a full-time artist creating brightly colored compositions inspired by some of the best things in life – love, sunsets, surf and beaches – all in his signature pop art style. Commercially, his work can be found on surfboards, 1800 Tequila bottles, cell phones, laptops, gaming consoles, lamp shades, window blinds and all sorts of clothing and everyday-use items. You’ll also find his art in numerous publications and in private collections throughout the United States.
While growing up in Philadelphia, I had no idea who the artist was that did all the pop art sculptures and murals in the city. Back then,
the name Peter Max didn’t mean a thing to me. Today, I not only know who he is and how he influenced my art, I had the unique opportunity to
meet the pop art icon one-on-one and show him my portfolio of work. He agreed that I had a style similar to his and pointed out that,
like me, his science background contributed to his success as an artist.
My encounter with Peter Max was a surreal moment but one that came after more than two decades of professional work in the corporate world. Not wanting to test the rumors that those who go for a career in art live in their cars and shower at the YMCA, I opted for a corporate career after college where I could leverage my artistic talents in a myriad of technical positions that paid enough money for me to take showers at home and drive my car to work. But after more than 20 years of creating business models, process maps, training manuals, conceptual diagrams, project storyboards, computer graphics and presentation slide decks, I decided I could no longer pursue my dream of becoming a professional artist on a part-time basis.
Since trading in opulent conference rooms for a humble studio space, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of “starting over.” With over 200 art compositions to my name and a dozen licensing agreements, I’ve managed to have my work reproduced on over 100,000 objects ranging from surfboards to cell phone skins. In 2009, I was one of 10 artists selected from over 17,000 entries from 3 countries to have their art work serve as the bottle label for 1800 Tequila. Although I continue to develop new business in the commercial art world, doing commissioned art projects that require the delivery of a positive message through bright, colorful pop art is what drives my passion.