Clients include: Blue Moon Brewing Co., Brookstone, Boston Review, Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Paste, Texas Monthly, Runner's World, SF Weekly, NPR, Improper Bostonian, ESPN, The Advocate, Philadelphia Magazine, PlanAdviser, The Phoenix New Times, The Washington Post, Amtrak, INC. Magazine, J. P. Morgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, Worth, Women's Sport's Foundation, the Pacific Standard, Sony Online Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Daybreak Games, Strathmore Artist Papers,
Agencies: Landor, Saatchi & Saatchi, PatMan, Trinity, Integer, Charleston Orwig, Rapp, Complex Media, XUPUY, Moo, Hollis Brand Culture.
Parson's School of Design, New York, NY: BFA illustration.
Graham Smith Illustration
About Graham Smith
Hi, I am a freelance illustrator collaborating on art projects with talented people, ad agencies, design studios, publications, and corporations. I am available for assignments and commissions, and I'm happy to consult with you about any part of your creative project. You can see my work in national publications, on products, advertisements, and even TV.
My illustrations are drawn traditionally, and finished digitally. I use pen and ink, or pencil to create hand-rendered drawings, and sketches. Illustrations are finished digitally in Photoshop, or Illustrator, to exacting clients specifications. Custom artwork is always delivered on time.
Sketches, and concept art are drawn plentifully, and quickly, so clients can select the best direction, with graphic options fully explored. Generating the ideas is my favorite part of any project.
If you are seeking a creative partner for your project, contact me and tell me about your project. I'll tell you where I can help, how long it might take, and we can figure out a budget based on the scope of work required.
The Art Adventure
My art journey took the long and winding road, and I have picked up a great deal of art production knowledge along the way. Each design avenue I've travelled has informed the map of knowledge connecting the far ends of the creative process.
The freelance hustle was the name of the game in New York. I danced around, dropping off my portfolio, jump starting an illustration career in publishing. I worked in an art supply store to pay the bills, and my dues.
My professional experience started unexpectedly in the Fashion Industry, deep in New York's Garment District. I designed over 2000 screen prints and textile designs in the first few years out of art school. I climbed from freelancer, to designer, to Art Director... and finally to Vice President of the textile design studio. I was up and running. Skills: Screen print design, leadership, strategizing with sales dept, the importance of color, trend forecasting, color separations.
On a business trip to see clients at Disney, I fell in love with California. I'm a beach person at heart, born on the Caribbean of Trinidad and Tobago. So I took a big left turn, and moved to the West Coast.
I founded a partnership with talented designer, Dawn Vitale, by starting ArtMasters. We were a small graphic design studio based in San Diego, designing Corporate Identities, logos, sales collateral, and product packaging for local businesses, and national clients. Skills: branding, writing proposals, clients relationships, graphic design, pre-press, seeing things from the clients POV, professional practices.
As the professional miles accumulated, my illustration work shifted from client focused design, to a signature illustration style. Assignments for national publications and advertising campaigns became frequent. Seeing my illustrations on magazines and newspapers everyday was a thrill. Skills: Organization, confidence, illustrating at a high level, finding my voice, perseverance, continually promoting for work, Social Media.
Taking a side step, Figure Drawing was always an art passion. I deeply resonated with the process back in art school. I frequented live model drawing sessions around San Diego, and people began to notice. My artwork was shifting towards drawing people and portraits with traditional media, after my work being very computer centric in the design world.
Teaching drawing workshops seemed to be a natural extension of my expertise. So I ran down that corridor, and learned as much as I taught.
Xupuy, an art book publisher approached, and a deal was made. We would make an art book together. Marks Vol. 1. I bought a camera and learned the technical process of photographing artwork for reproduction. I illustrated everything, designed the spreads in Photoshop, added graphics and type, and laid the book out for printing using In Design. All that design studio pre-press knowledge made that technical process an easy path.
A button on the camera said "video", and so began a trip down another avenue of art expression. I spent the next few years teaching myself film making, and have produced over 100 videos since then, including a few TV commercials. My design sense gained from illustration was a huge help in framing shots and lighting scenes.
Most of my videos are promotions for my illustration work, explorations of the creative process, some are promotions for paper companies, and some were for charity - community give backs - payment for all the good luck the universe has bestowed. Check out on my YouTube and Vimeo Channels. Please Like, Subscribe and leave a Comment.
I learned about composing a scene, and telling a story through the side quest of film making. That knowledge filtered back to my illustration work, improving my understanding - a fantastic learning feedback loop. It's like running downhill when all these avenue of skills converge within a project.
My art adventure was wide ranging now. Opportunities continually opened, and I worked on an amazingly diverse selection of projects, each as exciting as the next: environmental art, art shows, fundraisers, marketing events, and inspirational art videos, all fabulous roads to walk, each teaching me more and more about the art world.
With all these successes in multi-media going, I thought still photography would be an easy leap. I'm still learning. The art world has a lot more ground I'd like to explore.
If you would like to work on a creative project together, contact me here. We can talk about your project, and plan which road will take us on the most exciting art adventure together.
Thanks for reading all this, wow. Thank you.
"This guy’s stuff is great. It has a noir-like quality that could’ve come right out of the pulp fiction haydays of the 30’s and 40’s, but it still feels utterly modern. And unlike many graphic novel illustrators today he knows not to overdo it. He let’s us into the eyes or his subjects, shows us their wrinkles, and crooked smiles. He builds the character not through pyrotechnics of color and form, but through human emotion."