During High School Joel Garcia took two roads simultaneously, one was life in the punk rock scene designing flyers, t-shirts and cassette tape covers for bands. The other was as an apprentice to a world famous muralist. Eventually he studied art for a while at Otis College of Art and Design. However after a gunshot wound he left school and began working as an artist doing layout & design at Epitaph Records.
Garcia curated and took part in Self Help Graphics' The Jornalero Papers. This project gathered 10 artists who live/lived the experience of being a day laborer in America to take part in a special printmaking atelier. The subject of each of the limited edition fine art serigraphs explore the artist's dreams of opportunity, met with the realities of oppression, abuse, and physical pain.
Joel Garcia is not only an artist, but also an arts administrator and cultural organizer with over 20 years of experience working transnationally with artists locally and in Latin America, organizing workshops, events and festivals in over 20 Mexican and Latin American cities. Currently, Joel is the Director of Programs & Operations at Self Help Graphics & Art and since 2010 has produced the Día de los Muertos.
As printmaker Joel has assisted with revitalizing the Professional Print Program at Self Help Graphics & Art by helping merge digital and analog techniques and pushing for more experimental processes.