Founder - Dru Blair
Dru Blair grew up in Columbia, SC, and began studying medicine at Furman University in Greenville, SC. During his undergraduate studies he discovered his artistic ability and switched majors to fine art in his senior year, graduating with a BA in fine art. He later found employment in Myrtle Beach, SC as an airbrush artist painting shirts, where his rapid success inspired him to continue his education in art at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He earned a Masters Degree in fine art and went on to begin his career in commercial illustration.
He won the National Airbrush Excellence Award in 1998, which ushered in a wave of commercial opportunities. The following year he produced his first aviation painting, "Power", which became the first of three Air Force Magazine covers and remains the number one selling aviation print in existence. Other aviation paintings followed the advent of his own publishing company, Blair Art Studios Inc. In 1997, he founded the Blair School of Art in Raleigh, NC which evolved in to the Blair School of Realism in Blair, SC. In 2019 He founded the Blair Center for the Arts located in Charleston, SC. He continues selling his commissions and teaching painting workshops at his school and around the world.
In 2011 he began accepting invitations to conduct workshops in Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Greece, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. He discontinued these tours until 2019 so he could focus on his new school in Charleston.
Dru Blair is an Air Force Association Life Member, Honorary Member of the United States Air Force , Army Aviation Association of America Life Member, member of the North Carolina Association of Designers and Illustrators , member of the Air Force Art Program, member of the Graphic Artists Guild, Artist Fellow member of the American Society of Aviation Artists, and board member of the International Airbrush Association. He is a featured lecturer at the World Airbrush Exposition, and was the Guest of Honor at the International Airbrush Forum held in Germany which drew over 10,000 artists from around the world. Dru continues to be featured in television shows and interviews, and on dozens of magazine covers and book publications. Commercial projects have included popular themes such as the Budweiser Bullfrogs. He was the official artist for Star Trek: Voyager book covers, as well as several of the other Star Trek licensees. Dru currently resides in his ancestral hometown of Blair, SC where he operates the Blair School of Realism.
Partial client list: Budweiser, Continental Airlines, United Airlines, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Nabisco, Neutrogena, Rolling Rock Beer, Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas, McDonalds, Mattel, USA Today, Turner Broadcasting System, Automobile Magazine, American Legion Magazine Air Force Magazine, American Helicopter Pilots Association Magazine, Texaco, Paramount Theme Park, Featured Cover Artist and contributing editor for Airbrush Magazine.