A little bit about me

graves, circa 1971
Just a skinny kid from Rexdale, I had a wonderful childhood with my Mum, Dad and big Sister. Now, based in Toronto I am a very lucky Husband & Proud Daddy and sadly no longer skinny :(  By trade I am an Illustrator, Character designer and Professor.. AND loyal NYG fan.

I've been drawing for as long as memory serves. Drawing for me is a bit like breathing, as in it's not really a choice so much as it's something I NEED to do... Couldn't stop if i wanted to. 

It was at a very early age (like 5 years old early) when I first acquired my passion for drawing cartoons and illustrating the world around me. Whether it was animated or in print, I was hooked! I spent countless hours as a child drawing. 

Then I drew and drew and drew some more.

If you were looking for me when I was a kid, you’d likely find me one of two places: in the basement drawing up a storm while watching cartoons, attempting to mimic as best I could, my favourite cartoon character's voices. Saturday mornings were the best! The other place would have been in my room with my nose wedged between the pages of a comic book. 

(I was a pale kid)


My Mum (a school teacher) always encouraged me to doodle. My Dad kept me in paper the best he could, (which was no minor feat people) and my sister taught me to sign everything and to be proud of my work. I was very lucky to have such a supportive family. I'm STILL very fortunate today. Without my wife and partner in crime of 20+ years now, the person you see today just doesn't exist. Poof, gone,nada zippo,zilch!.. feel me?

Fast forward through junior school, middle school (that wonderful time when all your teachers tell you NOT to draw in your notebooks)... you’d find me drawing in ALL my notebooks and on pretty much anything i could put my pencil to. After "surviving" middle school you'd find me at The Etobicoke School of the Arts majoring in Visual Arts for four years under the guidance of the great Ray Paulionis and Nelson Dancy. A couple of incredible artist/educators. Thank you doesn't cover it. Not even close.

Another four years of drawing and painting later, and a diploma from O.C.A.D. (and a short stint at Sheridan), I was now well armed with a solid ten years of concentrated drawing and design under my belt, and most importantly, a ton of enthusiasm!
.. And I'd need it!

Now the plan was to work. And work i have!!!... I went out on my own doing freelance illustration and character design back in 1995 and haven't stopped since. 

I started teaching at Seneca in 2002 and since 2004 have been privileged to work full-time along side some of the most talented and enthusiastic artist, educators out there as a  faculty member at Seneca College in School of Creative Arts & Animation. I lead a wide range of subjects including visual development, story art, illustration, life-drawing, drawing fundamentals, design fundamentals and character design for animation. 

Enough about me - How are you?!
- graves

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