Joshua Spies paints from his real life experiences. He has a passion for conservation, up-close and real encounters with wildlife, then sharing them through his art. His paintings come from experiences in places such as Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mongolia, Argentina, New Zealand, Tajikistan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska, and Mexico.
Joshua grew up spending countless days observing wildlife on the vast prairies near his hometown of Watertown, South Dakota. He took an interest in painting wildlife as a young boy and sketched his first duck at age 8.
Spies' artistic abilities were apparent almost immediately to Master artist and Watertown native, Terry Redlin. Redlin encouraged and mentored Joshua for many years. Spies was also influenced and guided by other well known wildlife artists including Terry Issac, Paco Young, John Wilson, and John Green.
Spies received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art from the Department of Visual Arts at South Dakota State University. During his first year of school, he received national attention at an art show at Bradley University for his work in pencil. Since 1996, painting has been his full time profession, and he has developed a remarkable career as an internationally recognized wildlife artist.
Conservation has always been a top priority for Joshua, and through his paintings he has helped raise millions of dollars worldwide for this effort.
He won the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp competition in 2008 and has been a finalist in this event 5 other times. He was a finalist for Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year. His work has been selected for the Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever national art packages numerous times.
Joshua is a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, recognized as having attained the highest level of ability in the field of animal art.
Joshua was commissioned to paint 2 portraits of former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow, which are hanging in the South Dakota State Capitol Building.
He was honored by South Dakota State University when he was chosen to be featured in their "You Can Go Anywhere from Here" campaign, which honors the accomplishments of well known SDSU alumni.
His sketches have been engraved into custom rifles made by Rigby and Heym Rifle Companies.
Joshua's artwork has been featured on multiple Cabela's gift cards.
Artwork painted by Joshua has also been featured in the MGM movie "A Guy Thing" and 20th Century Fox used 3 of his paintings in their movie "Electra," starring Jennifer Garner. The Outdoor Channel's "Wildlife Art Gallery" has featured Joshua's artwork. Spies has been featured in both US Art and Wildlife Art Magazines. The Fall 2006 Wildlife Art Magazine named Joshua one of the top 16 wildlife artists. His work has appeared on over 20 magazine covers.
Dallas Safari Club announced Joshua as the winner of their Artist of the Year award in 2007 and in 2011, Joshua was named the Safari Club International Artist of the Year.
Joshua is a life member of the Grand Slam Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever, Safari Club International, Ducks Unlimited, Dallas Safari Club and ISHA. He is also a member of Grand Slam Club, Whitetails Unlimited, Mule Deer Foundation, Delta Waterfowl and the National Rifle Association.