Jn Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley deeply immersed in SoCal car culture. Throughout grammar and junior high school John was constantly in trouble for drawing flames on his schoolwork and automobile-related incidents during high school.
Graduating early from high school John opened a custom paint shop and established lifelong friendships with the editors of the magazines his customizing work appeared in. In 1999 John was commissioned by Easyriders Inc. to create a custom truck lifestyle magazine in the spirit of Easyriders. John titled the hardcore truck rag Tailgate, marking the beginnings of his career as a magazine editor.
Citing creative differences, John resigned from Tailgate and went to work for Hot Rod Bikes in 2004 followed by the editorship of Custom Classic Trucks. In late 2009 John resigned from Custom Classic Trucks mentioning a desire to goof off and freelanced as the once-a-year editor of American Truck.
During the course of his career, John's work has appeared in Street Rodder, Classic Trucks, Rod & Custom, Chevy High Performance, Muscle Car Review, Hot Rod, Easyriders, Biker, In the Wind, Tattoo, Road Iron, V-Twin, Hot Rod's Bikeworks, Hot Bike, Street Chopper, Ol' Skool Rodz, Custom Classic Trucks, Highbeams, Mini-Truckin', Super Chevy, Sport Truck, Classic Truck Trends, Air Brush Art & Action, American Hard Assets, Street Trucks, American Rodder, VQ, and the West Coast Eastwood blog.
On November 11, 2013, John Gilbert returned to a staff position with Classic Trucks as its tech editor, along with Rod & Custom and Street Rodder as a staff editor. His photographic images have appeared on over 250 magazine covers.