John Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley deeply immersed in the SoCal car culture. Throughout grammar and junior high school John was constantly in trouble for drawing flames on his schoolwork, and automobile-related incidents during high school.
After graduating high school early John opened a custom paint shop and established lifelong friendships with the editors of the magazines his customizing work appeared in. In 1999, John was commissioned by Easyriders Inc. to create a custom truck lifestyle magazine in the spirit of Easyriders magazine. John titled the hardcore truck rag Tailgate, marking the beginnings of his career as a magazine editor. During the course of his career, John’s work has appeared in Street Rodder, Hot Rod, Classic Trucks, Rod & Custom, Chevy High Performance, Muscle Car Review, Easyriders, Biker, In the Wind, Tattoo, Road Iron, V-Twin, Hot Rod’s Bikeworks, Hot Bike, Street Chopper, Ol' Skool Rodz, Custom Classic Trucks, Chevelle, Highbeams, Truckin’, Mini-Truckin’, Super Chevy, Hot Rod Bikes, Sport Truck, Vette, Classic Truck Trends, Air Brush Art & Action, Juxtapoz, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, Mustang Monthly, Bikernet, American Hard Assets, Street Trucks, American Rodder, VQ, West Coast Eastwood, and National Geographic.