“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back please”.
Hugh MacLeod-‘Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity’
I’ve been blessed with being able to make a living as a musician for the past 20+ years. In fact, pretty much everything good in my life has come directly or indirectly through Music. In my mid-40s, after extensive travels touring North America as a professional musician, I was suddenly hit with a different kind of “creative bug”…graphic art.
The majority of my illustrations are of motorcycles…Why motorcycles? Well, I was born on Cape-Breton Island, on the East Coast of Canada…My hometown was situated on the world-famous ‘Cabot Trail’, one of the most scenic drives in Canada, and in the summer tourist season it attracted a steady stream of motorcyclists. Luckily for me, my house was across the street from one of the last restaurants before entering the National Park – making it a popular pit stop.
As a kid, I kept a constant lookout for bikes arriving at the restaurant, and whenever they’d stop I‘d run over, sit on the steps, and just stare in wonder at the machines. They’d come from all across Canada, & sometimes the States…mostly touring bikes like Harleys & BMWs, but lots of Japanese bikes as well, and on a good day, an occasional custom chopper. Everything about bikes seemed cool, but mostly, they inspired me with the sense of adventure they seemed to promise, as I dreamed of someday expanding beyond my small town origins.
I got my first mini-bike when I was 11 years old (a red Honda Z50)…and going to the Honda dealership with my Dad to buy that bike is one of my favorite childhood memories. Zipping through the fields & numerous trails surrounding my hometown I was able to explore a much bigger area than had previously been possible on a bicycle. Up to that point I don’t think I’d experienced such a sense of freedom, fun & excitement!
As an artist I’m always attracted to the elegance of good designs; there is beauty in functionality and I’m drawn to the lines, symmetry and ‘magic’ of well-crafted machines like classic cars & motorcycles. I also find beauty in motorcycle racing…the passion, commitment, focus, & bravery of racers, especially in the ‘vintage era’, when the riders were a special ‘breed’.
My hope is that people enjoy the artwork and that it puts a smile on their face…I certainly enjoy creating the images.