Joseph D.R. OLeary was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1992, immediately after receiving his BFA in Graphic Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, OLeary opened Veto Design, a small, yet prolific design studio. Veto Design clients include a variety of cultural, arts, and educational organizations and institutions, including the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Symphony, Northern Clay Center, American Craft Council, and Highpoint Center for Printmaking. For more than 20 years OLeary has been designing artist’s catalogs and books, and directing photoshoots for a variety of clients and organizations. His days — and years — are filled with creating design for aesthetic-savvy clients.

When OLeary moved to a hobby farm just outside Minneapolis in 2005, it was no surprise he would decide to restore and convert the farm granary into a studio, where he does art/portrait and self-portrait photography, both of which feed his many appetites as an artist.

His photographic work has been included in exhibitions in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Colorado, The Netherlands, and Spain and was published twice in the London-based magazine “Mascular” featuring self-portraits from the “Delicate Scars” and "Emerge" series. His current project — “Of Beards and Men” — includes a limited-edition book of 150 portraits which showcase a broad spectrum of how men define masculinity in contemporary society.