An ex-MET ‘Copper’, ATTY turned his hand to creating art first and foremost for inspiration and passion. His unique, intricate animal-inspired artwork can be found in shows and galleries across Sydney, including his own in The Rocks. His Animal Explosion series is wildly popular and has gathered a cult following throughout the world. His animals have been ‘adopted’ on every continent.
I never name my animal until I see it for printed for the first time, but I usually have a short list in mind. I guess this is a similar process to what many parents go through with a child. The naming and the stories that accompany each animal are incredibly important – these guys and girls are like my babies. I spend so much time creating them that the name is very important for me. Once they’re christened they are ready to be adopted.
ATTY prefers to term his artwork sales as ‘adoptions’. It is not just a transaction. Finding a good home for his loving creations is of paramount importance. As is the personality of his animals and their ultimate keeper. The idea stemmed from the time when Graham and his partner Romana adopted an 18-year-old cat named Harvey, who was the inspiration behind Harvey the Lion, and is still an important part of their life today.
Each of ATTY’s limited edition animal creations takes an average of 150 hours to complete. It’s a painstaking process and a great deal of patience is required when creating digital art and illustration of such intricacy and depth. The largest artwork ATTY has created is Winston his Elephant, who took 695 hours to complete.
My girlfriend Romana is a big influence along with friends and family and of course animals in general. There really is no one artist but I have loved art all my life. I would say Dali is right at the top and I was lucky enough to go to Figueres to his hometown and visit his incredible gallery. I, like many, absolutely love Banksy – he came out at the time I was at university in Bristol and his work was everywhere. I am still gutted as I could have purchased a signed original on canvas for £400 back in the day but opted to invest that money in beer instead!