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.
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.
Greg Simkins “Inside the Outside” Opening Photos (June 10, 2010)
Greg Simkins featured on Sketch Theatre (April 15, 2010)
Summer Group Exhibition opening reception (August 19, 2009)
Greg Simkins and David Choong Lee opening reception (September 7, 2008)
Locked & Loaded (April 12, 2008)