From camper vans and t-shirts to the front windows of McDonalds and Mr Men books, Greg Straight’s graphical illustrations have brought life, colour and happiness to many a setting. The New Zealand-based artist’s work combines bold shapes, with little details that suck you in, and plenty of playfulness, which is why top agencies and brands around the world turn to him for their campaigns.
Born in England, Greg emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was nine. His father was a graphic designer and drawing became a way of life for Greg. Later on, his adoption of the computer helped him hone his strong, vector-led approach, which proved very popular with a range of fashion clients. Now he works across a whole range of sectors.
Greg’s inspiration comes from surf and skate imagery, trips to the beach, nature and other artists and illustrators. He also loves to think back to simpler times, nostalgia, and growing up in New Zealand.
Greg has a bachelor’s degree from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, and a diploma in design from the Auckland University of Technology.
Everything starts with a sketch for Greg, but he also uses the latest technology, which means he draws his initial ideas in pen, pencil or using Procreate on his iPad. The work then migrates over to the desktop, where he develops it further in Illustrator, an application that is ideal for the basic forms and limited colour palettes that Greg likes to use.
Greg’s main style is colourful and fun, with clean lines and a modern, geometric feel to it. Though most of his images are clear and direct, he also introduces smaller elements and icons, patterns and textures, to give them more depth. “Not all my work is hard-edged vector illustration,” he says. “Some is more hand drawn and it’s always nice to jump off the Mac for a while and go back to pencils and pens on paper.”
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