Forrest Hibbits was both a highly accomplished fine artist and a commercial artist in the Bay Area from the 1920s onward. Hibbits was a graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts. There he was close friends with San Francisco artist, Clyde F. Seavey (also represented in the Lost Art Salon Collection). The two of them later worked together at the illustration and advertising offices of Patterson & Sullivan in the 1920s and 1930s. Patterson & Sullivan, which was an art service based in San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to their illustration services, P&S employed a staff of graphic and packaging designers as well as typographers, calligraphic artists and photographers. They provided illustration services for the local advertising agencies such as Lord & Thomas, McCann Erickson, BBD&O, Young & Rubicam, and J. Walter Thompson. By the mid-1920s, P&S was attracting many of the country's leading illustrators including Clyde Seavey, John Atherton, Stan Galli, Paul Carey, Jack Painter, Haines Hall, Gib Darling, and Amado Gonzalez. These artists were able to supply a wide range of illustration styles evidenced in their campaigns for clients such as Southern Pacific Railroad, Dole Food Company, Del Monte, Levi Strauss, Stanford University, Standard Oil, and Dollar Steamship Lines. In 1930 Clyde Seavey and fellow P&S artist, Paul Ogden created a one-of-a-kind book with comic graphic and text depictions of each of the staff artists. Two original copies of this book are known to exist (one in the Lost Art Salon collection and the other in the historical holdings of Patterson & Sullivan). Seavey and Hibbits were an integral part of a vibrant community of artists and creatives living in San Francisco between the World Wars. Hibbits was married to fellow artist, Marie Jaans Hibbits.
During World War II he was an illustrator for the U.S. Air Force. He participated in exhibitions in most western art museums including the San Francsico Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), The de Young Museum, The Oakland Museum of Art, and The Legion of Honor (San Francisco).
Photo credit A. Paul Cartier.
He received numerous awards. Among them, California State Fair, 1966 and the Orange County National Water Color Show, 1967. He is also known for designing one of the posters used for the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island in San Francisco.
A member of the California National Water Color Society, he is included in the permanent collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Long Beach Museum of Art.