Jim Howle is one of the most versatile clowns performing today. In addition to his performing skills, which are finely honed, he is also a famous artist and expert on clown makeup.

Jim is a native of Darlington, South Carolina, where his mother was an artist, and Jim was pulled into clowning through art. While attending the Ringling School of Art, he learned of the creation of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He applied, was accepted, and was graduated from the original class in 1968.

He then toured with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey for seven years as a tramp clown, working with some of the great circus clowns such as Lou Jacobs and Mark Anthony. Jim was selected as the Big Show’s official artist. He left the show in 1974 to pursue his painting career.

Through the Contemporary Amerian Clowns and Red Nose Philosopher series of paintings, the first three Clown Hall of Fame Inductee posters. and other paintings, Jim has captured the heart and soul of clowning. His work is catalogued in the National Portrait Gallery 

There are clown collectible cards of his work available at Planet Mirth — well worth a look, even if just to appreciate his craftsmanship. Jim has taught at Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College and at conventions all over the country. He was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1993.

Jim Howle is a very gifted instructor as well as the best-known clown artist in the world. You will not have to go far to see his influence as Jim has also “created” the faces of many of the clowns performing today!

Jim is truly an artist, in every sense of the word, as well as a gentleman, a teacher, and a truly great clown. Jim spends his time painting, and touring the country teaching and lecturing about all aspects of clowning.  

Jim creates custom clown noses, and makes his own line of clown makeup, which is available through on-line retailers and at the conventions where Jim is instructing.