Ignacio was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California. His father was an immigrant from Piedras Negras, Mexico and his mother from Zacatecas, Mexico. A graduate of Roosevelt High School, he then studied commercial art at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. He worked at McDonnell Douglas to save money to enter Art Center College of Design, now in Pasadena. In 1966, Ignacio was drafted into the U.S. Army. While in the army he painted four murals at Fort Ord, California and four at Fort Hood, Texas. After an Honorable Discharge as a Specialist Five from the U.S. Army in 1968, he returned to Art Center. While in school, he entered a contest in which two of his paintings were accepted and printed in the New York Times, which led to him having representation in New York. Ignacio received his B.A. from Art Center College of Design in 1970.
In 1976, he illustrated a Beatles Album for Capital Records.
Ignacio has taught at Art Center College of Design and Otis Parsons School of Fine Arts. He has also lectured at California State University, the San Diego Art Directors’ Club, the Denver Art Directors Club, UCLA, and various high schools, junior high schools and elementary schools in the barrios of East Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. In 1990 he was invited to speak before some of this nation’s top Latino college students at a conference held at Harvard University. In May of 1995, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on behalf of the youth in the community by the Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club. He has received two Resolutions from the City of Los Angeles. The Boy Scouts of America awarded him with “Siempre Juntos” Award for his community service. Past recipients of this award were Edward James Olmos and David Lizarraga.
His works have been shown in New York, Europe, Japan and Mexico. Many of his original paintings have become part of permanent corporate art collections, such as “Escape from Sobibor”, which is now hanging in the Chrysler Corporate Headquarters. “The Astronomers,” which is now in the private collections of the Keck Foundation. Endevco Corporation has in their private collection six full figure paintings of scientists. The NFL also has paintings in their collection by Ignacio.
He has been recognized in numerous publications such as The California Department of Education, Communications Arts, Caminos Magazine, Idea Magazine and Pop-eye Magazine both from Japan. He was also featured as a role model for the youth in “Encuentros, Hombre a Hombre.”Ignacio created the “Creo” Award, a 17inch, bronze statue for TELACU. Some of the recipients of this award have been the U.S. Secretary of Education, the Honorable Richard W. Riley, Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante, former Mayors of Los Angeles, Richard J. Riordan and Antonio Villaraigosa.
In 1991, The Boy Scouts of America commissioned Ignacio to paint a magazine cover and poster honoring the soldiers returning from the Gulf War. He has been painting covers and editorial art for Boy Scouts Magazine for the past 25 years. Ignacio has worked on various motion picture posters and advertising campaigns. He painted a mural depicting Hispanic movie stars in Hollywood. He is well known for the painting of Edward James Olmos as the pachuco in “Zoot Suit” a play by Luis Valdez, the first Latino play on Broadway. KCET-TV commissioned Ignacio to paint a portrait of Leonard Strauss, founder of Thrifty Drug Stores and Book of Knowledge Stores, for his 80th birthday. He painted the poster for the series “Chicano! A History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement” which aired on PBS.Ignacio has painted over 40 portraits for a series of calendars on top Latino entertainers, such as Edward James Olmos, Ricardo Montalban, Cristina, Jimmy Smits, Anthony Quinn and Tony Plana to name a few. He painted the portrait of Eugene A. Obregon, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient to commemorate the dedication of the Downtown Los Angeles freeway interchange in his name. He also painted four Latino Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for a historical play about their bravery called “Veteranos, A Legacy of Valor” written by Enrique Castillo which traveled from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.