John Birch studied Fine Art at the West of England College of Art (now part of the University of the West of England). After graduating he remained in Bristol continuing to paint and had one man exhibitions at the Axis Gallery, Clifton and at the Bristol Arts Centre. He also took part in group exhibitions at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

He then spent the rest of his career as a graphic designer and only started painting seriously again after moving to Portscatho in 2013.