David Johnson was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He attended public school and graduated with a BFA from the University of Iowa. He walked beans, detasseled corn, baled hay, built cement grain elevators, worked in the State Liquor Store,
K-Mart , Sears Catalog Warehouse in Minneapolis, put together the Ferris Wheel for the carnival, picked apples in Washington state, painted houses, fell off the Christmas tree truck, attended Cleveland Institute of Art, received his MFA from Miami University, and taught at Anderson College as
a sabbatical replacement for one year. He currently teaches Drawing and Printmaking at Ball State University where
he has been since 1988. He has shown prints, drawings and books in approximately 400 exhibitions and has received many awards. His work is in the collections of several University Museums and Libraries.