John received a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Graphic Design in 1990 and an M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology in 2010 from Emporia State University. Prior to joining the ESU Department of Art faculty, John taught at Flint Hills Technical College from 2011 through 2019. He developed a new program in Interactive Multimedia Design, teaching video and animation until 2018. In 2018, John transferred to the Graphic Arts Technology program at FHTC. Mr. Decker worked at ESU from 1993 until 2011 as a graphic designer in the marketing office. He also was an adjunct instructor in the art department, teaching digital imaging for several years. Additional teaching experience includes teaching night classes in graphic design at FHTC and teaching traditional art classes in the Lebo school district to 5-12 grade students. John also coached soccer at Emporia High School for 14 years.
Mr. Decker also maintains a freelance graphic design/multimedia development business. Recent work includes work for Gravel City Adventure and Supply Co., Dirty Kanza Promotions, Emporia Main Street, Mohn Standard, Pratt Industries, Kansasworks, and producing a documentary titled A Welsh Farmstead: The Howe Family from 1858. The majority of these projects are for organizations that share the common goal of building a better community.
John also works in a variety of fine art mediums, focusing mainly on drawing and printmaking. Creative works reflect his interests in fishing and passion for the environment that he lives in. They explore the constant struggle of preserving natural resources while at the same time, altering the environment to make it easier for humans to go about their daily lives. The works attempt to overlap the beauty of nature with the mechanical forms of manmade objects.