Personal Illustration blog

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a personal illustration blog page.  I wanted one outside of school.  But, I’ve been gathering all my sketches,illustration, and even comic work to keep record of my progress.

Visual Essay: Finding the process

For this assignment I decided to continue with the e-waste series, but I want to put more focus on possible characters.  Through their eyes, I want to show a world of machine and electronic waste.  WIth the characters, I want them to be individuals.  I’m going to show this by expressing it through their clothing to the way they interact with the world.
I’m going to continue to use acrylic paint.  Having doing so, I feel like am getting a better “grip” on a technique that works for me.  I’ve been looking at artists such as Greg Simkins (Craola) and Raphael Lacoste to understand their techniques.  I found it really helpful with helping me making proper steps before just jumping right into the painting process.  Also, I’ve been giving a lot more careful attention to my reference images.  I collect a lot more reference photos and images now.  From there, I narrow them down to want i want to use.  Another thing I’ve been doing is making more models.  I’ve use everything from just simple cube shapes to full form figures.




Raphael Lacoste

Raphael Lacoste lives in Canada, Montreal, with his family since 2002. He was born in 1974 in Paris, but lived mostly around Bordeaux, south west of France until he left for Canada.

He studied in 1993 at Fine Arts school, Art and Media option, Photography and Video, at the same time, he was photographer and composer for a theatre company “les Pygmalions”. He was already attracted by the scenery, mood and lighting. The Company Gave him the opportunity in 1997 to work on “the little Prince” of St Exupéry, he did there his first 3D pictures that were projected on giant screens with Pani 6KW projectors, Raphael was also the screening coordinator.

Later in 1998, he went to CNBDI school (Angouleme, France) and got a European Master of Art in 3D animation, his movie “Nîumb” was screened at Siggraph 2000, Imagina 2000, Anima mundi 2001… He had teachers like René Laloux, Director of “Time masters”, “Gandahar”, “Fantastic Planet”… Raphael was very impressed by the work of his teacher and learned a bit of his knowledge…

Raphael Lacoste has been now Art director on Videogames and Cinematics (CG) for more than 7 years, he worked at Ubisoft on such licenses as Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed (VES, AIAS, GDC awarded).

He won a VES Award in February 2006 for his work as Art Director on Prince of Persia the Two Thrones Cinematics.

His Focus now is to work as Senior Concept Artist, Matte painter and production designer for Film. He is skilled particularly in environments, moods, picture composition and lighting (see portfolio).

He joins the RodeoFX team in Montreal in October 2007.




Greg Simkins (Craola)


Greg Simkins was born in 1975 in Torrance, California, just south of Los Angeles. He grew up with a menagerie of animals including a number of rabbits, which often emerge in his paintings. He began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by vaiour cartoons and books. Some standout books that still find there way into his art are Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

Simkins’ art continued to progress to the age of 18, when he started doing graffiti under the name Craola. Graffiti art became his impetus for creating and gave him the confidence to paint large works. In addition, it taught him perspective, color theory and further developed artistic skills, which later translated into his work with acrylics.

After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from California State University of Long Beach in 1999, Simkins worked as an illustrator for various clothing companies. He later moved on to Treyarch/Activision where he worked on video games including Tony Hawk @X, Spiderman 2 and Ultimate Spiderman while attempting to paint with every free minute he had.

In 2005, Simkins pursued his desire to paint as a full time artist. Since then, he has been featured in numerous group exhibitions and has successfully sold out four solo exhibitions. His art is seen in a wide variety of industries from clothing to video games and has also come to life in the form of toys. His client/collaboration list includes Disney, Mattel, Upper Playground, Juxtapoz, ToDieFor, Vans, Converse, AFI, Saosin, Gym Class Heroes, Pennywise, Strange CO, Nigyoushi, Kid Robot, Zero Friends, Epitaph, Dark Horse, Iron Fist and Pulse International.

Artist Statement

After years of chasing the monsters under his bed, Greg Simkins has re-emerged into te ordinary world, bringing with him images of what he saw in those forgotten lands. Simkins didn’t always use a paintbrush to display this barrage of characters, but spent many of his early years filling sketchbooks, which later were spray painted on walls and finally found their way onto canvas. A fantasy side show, of your more outlandish dreamt of creatures is what you encounter in each Simkins piece inspired by elements from pop culture, the old masters, nature, carnival kitsch and most importantly, a warped imagination. It is the careful weaving of these elements that makes Greg Simkins a sought after surrealist painter today.