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Meet Greg “Craola” Simkins

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

At the age of 18, Simkins began doing graffiti under the name “Craola”. Graffiti drove his inspiration to create and gave him the confidence and experience to paint large-scale works. It also taught him color theory and perspective while further developing his artistic skills, as later demonstrated in his masterful work with acrylics.

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.

Please tell us about your art.
The world I paint into is called “The Outside”. Much like C.S. Lewis had Narnia, Tolkein had Middle Earth, and Lewis Carroll had Wonderland, this is my fantasy world where I get to work out my imaginings. There are heroes and villains; heartaches and friendships; danger and adventure; creatures beyond imagination still waiting to be invented. All those things that excited us as kids, I attempt to get back through working on this world. It makes it exciting to clock in each day and flesh it all out. I am curious what it will grow into. If anything, it will be a legacy for my boys.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I don’t find it all that lonely working as an artist. I’ve got my family that keeps me pretty busy, and I love that alone time that I get to paint and disconnect from the world. I feel that that disconnect is more important than connecting with other artists. Getting lost in your own ideas and concepts without the distraction of what’s going on in “the art world” is where the creative process takes over. It’s easy to connect these days, social media has done a lot for networking. Getting time alone is priceless.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The best place to see more of my work is I also have a YouTube page where I post time-lapse videos of my paintings coming to life I exhibit at KP Projects gallery in Los Angeles somewhat annually as well as many groups show in museums and galleries around the globe including Miami’s Art Basel.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Birdman Photography. Studio shots by: Brent Broza

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