John Zamudio

John Zamudio is a well-known Christian artist and public speaker who speaks Spanish, English, and French. He has given talks at TEDx events, universities, and other venues, and has been featured on the BYU International channel, KUTV, KSL, Telemundo, Univision and others. He was nominated for the "Peruvian Pride Award" sponsored by the Peruvian Congress and the "Tumi USA Award 2017.”


John was born in Lima, Peru. At two years old, he accidentally fell into an open flame while playing with friends, causing serious burns and scar tissue damage to both hands. He struggled with this for many years, as some of his fingers were left immobile.

When he was four years old, he witnessed a massive explosion at a local fireworks factory, which caused debris to fly everywhere and the sky to light up for miles. The trauma of the event led to a high fever and several weeks of sleeplessness. As a result, John developed a severe stutter that he was unable to overcome.

Starting school with these physical limitations and speech issues made it challenging for him to make friends at a young age.

He had difficulty speaking and often stuttered when he tried to say more than a few words at a time. To avoid bullies and teasing from other students, he kept his hands hidden, a common behavior among children. During recess, he was unable to freely participate and play with the other children, leaving him feeling left out.

His mother felt guilty about his challenges and was determined to help him overcome them. She encouraged his drawing and provided constant support to help him improve his skills. Over time, he discovered that his drawings continued to improve and he had developed a new talent.

"My mom taught me that challenges in life are meant to help us develop our weaknesses, become stronger, and help others. When we improve ourselves, we become more capable of helping others." 

She taught me that happiness is not dependent on external circumstances, but is instead an internal attitude that comes from within. Happiness is not a goal to be achieved; it is a way of living every day. Thanks to his mother's love and teachings, despite his challenges, he had a very happy childhood, and I believed that he could achieve everything he wanted in life.

John visited several specialists for his stuttering, including an MRI, but no physical issues were found. The cause was emotional, and a long-term psychological therapy treatment may have helped, but his parents were unable to afford it.

At the young age of seven, John learned the power of a positive attitude in improving one's circumstances. He realized that everything happens for a reason and that it's our choice to view life's events positively or negatively. We have control over the kind of life we want to lead.

For people who stutter, it becomes easy to anticipate which words will be difficult to pronounce.

"When I was ten years old, I learned a trick to help me. I would quickly replace words with their synonyms while speaking, which helped me to express myself more smoothly and sometimes mask my stutter. I even started to enjoy reading dictionaries."

This exercise lasted for many years and required a lot of effort and tears, but it helped John to improve his speech patterns and overcome his stutter.

The artist began receiving recognition and rewards for his drawings and paintings from a young age. As his art became more complex, he gained more social acceptance, friends, and confidence.

At age 17, he enrolled in the National School of Fine Arts in Lima, Peru to study art. During this time, he learned a wide variety of artistic techniques and mediums for painting and sculpture. In 1991, he studied oil painting at the Art Museum of Quinta Vergara in Vina del Mar, Chile. However, he eventually became interested in the field of business administration, which offered more lucrative career prospects. As a result, he put his aspirations to become an artist on hold in order to pursue these new opportunities.

LDS President Thomas S. Monson next to John Zamudio's Painting in LDS Church Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.

When he was nineteen years old, he went to Northern Peru as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During that time period, there were many serious political upheavals and terrorist-related events in Peru. It was during this time that a miracle occurred.

"As a missionary, I witnessed a huge car bomb explosion right in front of us. Miraculously, we received no injuries. After the explosion, I realized that I no longer had a stutter.

After completing my mission, I had to decide which career to pursue in order to provide for my future family. I felt discouraged because people didn't believe that I could be a good provider as an artist or a painter. My dreams of becoming an artist were being shut down.

Eventually, I became drawn to the world of Business Management, but I wasn't happy. I felt an emptiness in my heart. I missed the stillness and peace of mind I had once found in painting. I felt I was on the wrong path and that I was supposed to use my artistic skills that I had worked so hard to develop. Art was always calling to my heart.

I wanted to provide and be responsible, but at the same time, I wanted to follow my dreams. I didn't know what to do. Finally, in 2004, I had the courage to make the change. I understood that life is too short to be in a career that is not right for me. At the end of my life, I did not want to be an old man, thinking on my deathbed: I should have done things differently. Why didn't I fight for my dreams? I took the risk and became an artist”.

LDS Primary & Reliefe Society Presidences next to John Zamudio's Painting in Temple's Square in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.

Thanks to his strong business background, he successfully marketed his artwork. By leveraging his knowledge, he developed a custom website and a comprehensive marketing plan, which helped him gain international exposure.

This exposure not only expanded his reach, but also enabled him to showcase his work in various countries, including South America, Europe, Mexico, and the USA. As a result, he made a name for himself in the art world and established a solid reputation as a talented artist with a unique perspective and style.

Peruvian Consul in Utah David Utrilla & John Zamudio, Salt Lake City - Utah.

John creates paintings of Jesus Christ set in different ancient and modern cultures, featuring real people from around the world. By incorporating these individuals into his paintings with Jesus Christ, he creates a unique impact for both the people and the artwork.

Recently, he embarked on a new journey as a public speaker, where he has the opportunity to share the stories behind his art and express his thoughts, philosophy, and experiences as someone who lives a purposeful life.

According to the artist, his hands were once a source of embarrassment, but they now bring him great joy and a sense of purpose.

He paints Jesus Christ because he believes that He represents love and unity among all the different human cultures in the world, and he feels a strong connection to that reason.

In the past, speaking in public was a source of embarrassment for many. Today, I have the privilege of speaking in Spanish, French, and English to inspire people to pursue their dreams and reach their objectives.

He has been interviewed by multiple channels, including BYU Channel, Telemundo, Comcast, and KSL, among others.

Guest speaker at the BYUi for the education week