Greg “Craola” Simkins was born in 1975 in Torrance, California, just south of Los Angeles. He grew up with a menagerie of animals, including rabbits, which often emerge in his paintings. He began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by various cartoons and books, such as 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 and, at the age of 18, he started doing graffiti under the name “CRAOLA”. Graffiti art gave him the confidence to paint large works, taught him perspective and color theory, and further developed his 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 and bands. He later moved on to Treyarch/Activision, where he worked on video games including Tony Hawk 2X, Spiderman 2 and Ultimate Spiderman, while attempting to paint with every free moment 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 had successfully sold out solo exhibitions. The growing popularity and demand for Simkins’ artwork has gained recognition and can be found in the collections of many widely respected and world renowned actors, artists, musicians and business people.
Simkins’ art can also be found in a wide variety of industries, including clothing, video games and toys. His commercial client/collaboration list includes Disney, Mattel, Logitech, Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Converse, Vans, Kid Robot and many more.
In 2009, Simkins developed “IMSCARED”, his own brand of clothing, merchandise and accessories to further expand his art into more everyday mediums that can be worn and enjoyed by his diverse fan base. He’s currently working with C4Toons on his own stop motion short based on his art called, I’m Scared: The Movie!
It is his careful weaving of pop culture, the old masters, nature, carnival kitsch, and (most importantly) his warped imagination, that makes Greg Simkins a sought-after surrealist painter today. Simkins’ artwork has appeared in museums and galleries throughout the world.