This page is a bit about my history and how I arrived at this point in time. I’ve included the back catalogue gallery of my work because it’s useful to see where an artist has come from and their development.
The pieces on here date back to before 2007 when I established my first onegraydot.com website. Most of the pictures in these galleries are produced digitally, some more obvious than others.
Although my process isn’t as exclusively digital as it was during this time and I choose to express my uniquity in illustration through a mix of traditional and digital. Many small printers and online printers who are used by self publishers are unable to scan work at a sufficient size for my process, so I work in digital where I need to. The effect is very much the same though.
I started in natural media, but with only an o-level behind me and I couldn’t find any good tutors – my school said that artists couldn’t make money and the internet was in its infancy…youtube tutorials non-existant – I could only master pencils and ink rendering. A bit of watercolour. I really wanted to be an artist right from when I was first working, but although everyone loved my work, nothing quite connected. Featured in newspapers; asked to do some bits and pieces but they were all ‘on the side’ so to speak. Big industry things but just not regular. I suspect part of this was I just didn’t have the contacts and it was pre-internet.
My art was being picked up by my employer in 2007, a book publisher called Scripture Union for whom I was a trainer and practitioner of children’s ministry in churches and schools that really changed things. I was able to buy photoshop, and then artrage and corel Paint, then manga studio. I got my first graphics tablet and ImagineFX magazine was published. I took on challenges at the ImagineFX forums (which sadly don’t exist anymore) as well as producing illustrations for print for my employer alongside my regular work. This gave me a hands on accelerated learning in developing many styles including learning how to produce oil-painting-like results, even though I had not really experienced oils. From 3D programs to digital oils and watercolour. Special effects to photomontage.
Of course using digital media isn’t the same. The undo button becomes a friend. But it served me well, and I practised hard to make my digital pictures look like the real thing. This meant I had to study what the original looked like to pull it off. The result being I have transferred photoshop skills to working in the real thing, which means I can work either traditionally or digitally. When I am developing a new style for a client I will often work first in natural media ‘to get the look’ then work out how to do it digitally so as to get around the dificulty of working with printers who no longer have the skills or equipment to digitise for print.
In my illustrations today I will use either digital or real media depending on the job. I specialise in black and white images, greyscale pencil drawings, or colours. I will always endeavour to avoid a ‘photoshop’ look. The greatest joy I have is seeing the ideas of other people brought to life in colour, matching pictures to words. And helping people to tell their stories.
So here it is, my history in pictures.
There are more images on the blog pages and most up to date work I post to instagram https://www.instagram.com/onegraydot/