Javier Atela is a Spanish artist who was born in 1957 in Mexico City.

His interest in art developed at an early age when his parents, recognizing his talents when he was 6, enrolled him at the studio of the artist Robin Bond in Mexico City.

At 19, Javier moved to Madrid, where he studied at Artaquio in preparation for his admission as a fine arts student at Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, which he attended for four years. At the end of his studies a number of Madrid galleries came together and organized a competition for the students at the Escuela. Javier won the second prize.

Javier headed to Rome to continue his studies in a less formal and constrictive style of art education at the Scuola di Belli Arte. From Rome he moved to Macerata in Central Italy, where he joined Centro Maesta, a group of artists that included the Belgian colourist Corneille, who was the founder of the Cobra Group. Javier also trained with Philippe Artias.

Between 1981 and 1985 Javier exhibited at the Montenegro and Inguanzo galleries in Madrid, before moving to New York where he enrolled at Parsons New School for Design. He took a series of courses, including some on Visual Arts School graphic design taught by Milton Glaser, one of the most celebrated American graphic designers.

In 1983, Javier began working on Madison Avenue as an illustrator and art director, first at J. Walter Thompson and then at Wells, Rich, Greene. He continued to paint privately.

In 1988 Javier returned to Madrid, where he worked for Saatchi & Saatchi and opened a private studio.

The first of his three children, Gabriela, was born in Madrid in 2004, and it was she who prompted him to begin working with children’s drawings. The pleasure that both she and he got from the first painting they worked on together inspired him to explore and develop this form of art, and it has been his focus ever since.