Rudy was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in Teaneck, NJ. He received a BFA from Pratt Institute. His work for various periodicals, book covers, magazines, CDs, and children's books, as well as his paintings have appeared worldwide. Gutierrez includes the Dean Cornwell Hall of Fame Award, Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award, and a Gold Medal from the NY Society of Illustrators among his honors. His children's books have earned him a Pura Belpr Honor, Americas Book Award, and a New York Book Award. He has exhibited internationally including at the World Conference Against Racism in South Africa and has performed as a guest artist with Def Dance Jam Workshop doing live painting performances with the dance company that features hearing impaired and physically challenged kids. He has also performed with Dance, Music, and Kids on stage with performers of the Broadway shows The Lion King and Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Funk.
Gutierrez believes that the highest honor is to inspire and uplift and he has lectured at various colleges and institutions including workshops on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and Univa-Universidad del Valle de Atemajac in Guadalajara, Mexico.