Bruce Claypool was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena and graduated in 1976 with a B.A. in Graphic Design. Immediately after, he was hired as an Art Director at Robert Miles Runyan and Associates where he stayed for two years before he decided to go back to school to pursue his masters degree in Fine Art and Painting at the California State University Long Beach.
From 1981 to 1983, he held the position of a full-time Art Director at the National Football League. It was during this time at the NFL that he designed the iconic helmet for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Following his two-year stint at the NFL, Bruce decided to leave to pursue his own fine art while becoming a part-time professor at ArtCenter, his alma mater. It was there that he found teaching to be very rewarding and gratifying. Since 1991, he has been a full-time faculty professor at the college.
Presently, his time outside the college is dedicated to his paintings and the exploration of his evolving interest in art.