The new 2015 Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Travel Guide features cover art by artist and saddle maker John Rule. Photo provided. -
The new 2015 Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Travel Guide features cover art by artist and saddle maker John Rule. Photo provided. 

2015 Oklahoma Travel Guide Features Art of John Rule

There are two reasons you need to get the free 2015 Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Travel Guide.

The first is it’s an invaluable, convenient resource. The guide contains a compelling narrative about Oklahoma’s diversity and beauty, showcasing Route 66, outdoor adventures, getaways, dining, state parks, shopping, museums, athletics and information about many of the state’s towns and cities.

You need a place to stay? Accommodations are listed alphabetically by city and are color-coded by region. Oklahoma is divided into six travel regions for your convenience and quick reference.

With the guide, one can truly see Oklahoma from a new and exciting viewpoint. To order a copy, go to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation website,, and click where it says “Request Free Brochures.” Your copy should arrive in about seven to 10 days.

Iconic art covers

The second reason you need to receive the guide is to see its stunning front and back covers. It’s the work of the very talented artist and saddle maker John Rule.

Rule has been tooling leather for about 50 years. He was tasked to create a unique cover for the travel guide, and he went above and beyond expectations.

The front and back covers show Rule’s exquisite, detailed work. The first step was a portfolio custom created in leather. On the portfolio, a metal buckle was put in. After the portfolio was completed, an extensive process was used to recreate the look of leather for the covers.

“The layout came really rather simple, because I worked in simple circles and with adjacent circles,” Rule said. “The balance between the scissor-tail and the buffalo and the logo with the concho, that was probably the most the most difficult part of it. And the only reason it was difficult is that I did have all those little components, that I needed to make sure that I didn’t have an uh-oh in the middle of it.”

For Rule, the sketching comes pretty easily. Essentially, he creates a leather picture. But to do that requires a lot of different ideas, plus hands made skillful by artful and delicate repetition over time.

“Essentially I approach that like I would a canvas. It’s there and you try to get all the components, all the elements that you want in there. Try not to have it too busy, but try to have it where it reads and is easy to follow and you see what’s going on.”

I was astounded to discover that, during the process, most of the actual work, particularly on the back cover, was done freehand. So, there’s no room for error.

But for Rule, it’s all part of the creative process. His talents have taken him to different mediums over the years, including tooling leather, painting and sculpting.

“I enjoy sculpture,” he said. “And when I’m doing leather, I’m actually sculpting the leather.”

And now, with just a few clicks on your computer, you can see his handy work up close when you receive your free copy of the 2015 Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Travel Guide.


This article can originally be found courtesy of here, written by Dino Lalli.