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Meet Greg “Craola” Simkins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg “Craola” Simkins.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am an artist I creating paintings for various museums, galleries, private commissions and licensing projects around the world. The name “Craola” is my graffiti name which I took on in 1992 when I began my journey. I later transitioned what I was learning on walls and from crew members onto canvases with acrylic paint and slipped nicely into the “Pop-Surrealism” movement. I have worked in the streetwear, fashion industry as well as in video games for Treyarch/Activision on such titles as Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2x and a variety of the Spiderman video games. I, however, have spent the majority of my career painting for exhibitions and collectors since leaving video games around 2005. If you would like to see more of my works or shop for books, prints, and merchandise, feel free to pop on over to my website I also post daily on Instagram if you would like to follow me over there: @Craola. Thanks for watching!

Please tell us about your art.
Out of his love for the animal world, he seeks to bring together unlikely camaraderies and conflicts from the landscape of his mind to the confines of canvas, paper, and walls. It is common to see deer with killer whales, puppies with crustacean pals, and birds sharing the air with rodents in his playfully ominous to ominously playful acrylic compositions informed by smooth, graffiti gradients and balanced layouts that draw the eye through storylines and little vignettes.

“I’ve always been one that gets lost in daydreams. My art reflects the outside worlds where my thoughts drift, heavily influenced by the stories I read as a kid and the cartoons I was obsessed with on Saturday mornings, I find myself telling new stories to my own children these days. It’s a constant battle, but I have been leaning towards going where my art wants me to take it, to dark mountain paths lined with eyes and creatures, where birds are called dragons, and everything is dangerous, all the while fighting the voices in my head telling me to “Grow up. Maybe it’s a bit of a Peter Pan mentality, but there are times we need to escape the distractions of this world for new ones in the Outside.”

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Time management seems to always be a challenge. Figure out a way to balance studio time with social and family time, it can reinvigorate your creativity.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Outside of museum and gallery exhibitions, the best way to see my work would be through my website, there I have books and prints as well as merchandise available. I also post daily on Instagram: @Craola . I have an active YouTube page as well where I post long form time-lapse videos of my pieces being painted which is under the name: CRAOLA280

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Birdman Photos

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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