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Graham Smith Illustration
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (619) 296-9323
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
I am a freelance illustrator and video maker, collaborating on art projects with talented people, ad agencies, publications, and corporations. I am available for assignments. My work appears in national publications, on products, buildings, advertisements, and TV.
Illustrations are drawn traditionally, and finished digitally. I use pen and ink, pencils and organic textures to create hand-rendered drawings. Illustrations are finished digitally in Photoshop, and sometimes Illustrator.
Videos are produced in house using Canon DSLR's, Rode Microphones, iPhones, and GoPros. Check out over 100 videos on my Vimeo Channel.
Let's talk about your project. Consultations are free. I am always looking for creative partnerships, and the next art adventure.
The Art Adventure
I have learned a great deal of art knowledge on this long and winding freelance art adventure.
I started in New York, dropping off my portfolio, trying to jump starting an illustration career in publishing. But I worked in an art supply store to pay the bills... and pay some dues.
Fashion, Turn to the Left. My professional experience started in the Fashion Industry. I designed over 2000 screen prints in the first few years and climbed from freelancer, to Art Director... and finally to Vice President of a textile design studio.
California. On a business trip to see clients at Disney, I fell in love with the bright sunshine and beaches in California. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island, so I took a big left turn, and moved to the beaches on West Coast.
Design Studio. I founded a partnership with talented designer, Dawn Vitale, and 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.
Illustration. As the professional miles accumulated, my work shifted from client focused work, 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.
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. My artwork was shifting towards drawing people and portraits with traditional media, after my work being very slick, corporate, and computer centric design.
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.
Art Book. Xupuy, an art book publisher approached. 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.
Video. A button on the camera said "video". 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, lighting scenes, and telling stories.
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.
Feedback Loop. I learned even more 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 through this new perspective. It's like running downhill when all these avenues of skills converge.
Work Together? 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.
"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."
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