Andy Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his two older brothers and his parents, both of whom had emigrated from Czechoslovakia. Even as a young boy, Warhol liked to draw, color, and cut and paste pictures. His mother, who was also artistic, would encourage him by giving him a chocolate bar every time he finished a page in his coloring book.
Elementary school was traumatic for Warhol, especially once he contracted St. Vitus' dance (chorea, a disease that attacks the nervous system and makes someone shake uncontrollably).
Warhol took art classes both at school and at the Carnegie Museum. Warhol graduated from high school and then went to Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he graduated in 1949 with a major in pictorial design. Right after college, Warhol moved to New York. He quickly earned a reputation in the 1950s for using the blotted-line technique
Around 1960, Warhol had decided to make a name for himself in pop art. Pop art was a new style of art that began in England in the mid-1950s and consisted of realistic renditions of popular, everyday items.
Warhol's first exhibition in an art gallery came in 1962 at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. He displayed his canvases of Campbell's soup, one canvas for each of the 32 types of Campbell's soup. He sold all the paintings as a set for a $1000.
Unfortunately, Warhol found that he couldn't make his paintings fast enough on canvas. Luckily in July 1962, he discovered the process of silk screening. This technique uses a specially prepared section of silk as a stencil, allowing one silk-screen to create similar patterns multiple times. He immediately began making paintings of celebrities, most notably a large collection of paintings of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol would use this style for the rest of his life.