Hi, I'm Simon: I'm a graphic designer and The Big Sky Studio is where I can share (and hopefully sell!) my personal creative work.
My mum was an architect, and art and creativity were very much part of home life as a kid, so perhaps it's not surprising that I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer from an early age.
I was helped by going to a school with an outstanding art department that encouraged creativity and basic art skills and it seemed completely logical that I would go on to art school to study graphic design.
I loved my time there - this was in the days prior to the Mac and as well as the principles of design and design thinking, there was a great deal of 'craft' skill to learn; including drawing and painting, typesetting, artwork creation and much more.
Once released into the real world I worked in a local design studio before setting up a design consultancy with a friend in 1989 just as the Macintosh computer and desktop publishing were arriving in the UK.
We were convinced that this would revolutionise the graphic design profession, and were one of the first studios to set up completely equipped with Macs.
The 30 years that followed have been a roller-coaster ride, with highs and lows aplenty and although now much smaller than in our heyday, we continue to produce commercial graphic and communication design for companies of all sizes.
However, over time, I have come to realise that in bringing undoubted efficiency to the design process, the Mac has also taken something away and I feel we may have lost our connection with those 'craft' skills, and too often design is being directed by the technology rather than by the designer.
With that in mind, I decided that I wanted an outlet for my own creativity, something that would allow me to design and create pieces for my personal satisfaction, using both digital and traditional tools.
The Big Sky Studio is the result and I am now busy producing work to make available as original pieces, prints and cards for sale online.
Why The Big Sky? well, although I am based in leafy Surrey, I have a long-standing affinity and love for East Anglia and Suffolk in particular, and like many artists I have always been inspired by the amazing light provided by the flat land creating a 'big sky'.