Where it all began
As a young northerner I would regularly play with my toy farm (hand built by my Dad - top man) and a treasured collection of Britain’s farm toys. Everyone around me was involved in farming, but my table top farm was better than the real thing. Over time my farm was boxed up and put in the loft, along with my livestock breed posters, which were happily replaced with ones of Geri Halliwell.
From there, my education shifted to science, maths and sausage roll consumption. Pushed down the science route, I eventually went to university in St Andrews to study Zoology, keeping my love for animals alive. Whilst growing my beer belly, a strange fellow introduced me to Adobe Photoshop (a graphics editing tool) and my digital art journey started here.
Entirely self-taught, I started to use this tool for photography & branding projects and helping friends with design work. After Uni, I returned home and slowly started taking on projects with local businesses (as science based work was slow up north). I loved taking on new challenges, solving problems and trying out new ideas, so I kept saying yes to anyone who needed help with design and photography work. This gradually evolved and it was not long until I was working full-time as a freelance graphic designer and photographer.
Moving up to Edinburgh I began working on a myriad of different projects from designing tattoos to photographing weddings; and from computer game design to creating museum exhibitions. It was great fun not knowing what project would be next. As my skills improved, I started creating my own designs, developing my own styles, trying different techniques and seeing what I liked and what worked; using my passions of Edinburgh, Cycling and Animals as my ideas platform.
My parents moved house, the boxes came down from the loft, and my passion for farming was reignited, there are small figurines of highland cattle all around my house these days!
I was still working on client based projects, but spending more and more time on new designs & creating my own style. I focused on creating a clean, modern and fun style which was influenced from my science days, enjoying precision and technical aspects of art. It’s only now I look back and see how my childhood and education has actually influenced the pieces I am producing today.
It took a long time to build up the confidence to start selling my work. But on completing my British Livestock Collection (inspired by my old breed posters) I finally took the leap to see if the great British public would like these? With a massive amount of help from Louise, we finally took the plunge and did our first market stall in Edinburgh, and it turned out they did, phew, and as they say the rest is history.
I still work as a graphic designer and photographer, but my own artwork is becoming the biggest part of my business. My collections have grown and developed but I still remain true to my original passions. I find it interesting, without realising, how I have been influenced through all my experiences in producing things I do.
I am always learning, trying new techniques, hopefully progressing and producing art to make people happy. If you have any ideas you would like to explore, please bring a 4 pack of sausage rolls and we can discuss the next adventure over lunch.