Born in 1958 in Southern California, as an only child to self-employed parents, John Petrey spent many afternoons watching television and movies portraying perfect people, in perfect families, living in a perfect society. These shows had a profound impact on his career path. He pursued a career in advertising design, receiving an A.S. Degree in Graphic Design from Mt. San Jacinto College, followed by a B.S. Degree from Brooks Institute in Commercial Photography.