HOMEGROWN TALENT — Getting to know Craig Bertram Smith
By SKI-BOAT Reporter
BECOMING a full-time artist is no easy task, let alone for someone who specialises in wildlife and fish fine art. There is no better person to ask about this than South African artist, Craig Bertram Smith. At 41 years of age, Craig is no amateur artist. His intense passion for all nature, but particularly ocean life, has led him to a career where he can express this passion in realistic fine detail on canvas.
His annual family trips to the Eastern Cape Wild Coast with his father and brother triggered a fascination for fishing and the ocean from a very young age. He would spend hours “doodling” at school, sketching various species of fish and sharks. Craig’s unique talent was quickly noticed by his teachers, who encouraged him to explore his artistic flair.
Although his father would’ve preferred him to follow a more academic and corporate career path, Craig was determined to follow his dream.
After his studies at the University of Johannesburg Craig went on to work as a graphic designer. This brought in a steady income, and he spent whatever free time he had sketching and painting, over the years building up a reputation for his fishing art. With artists such as Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders and Don Ray as inspiration, Craig worked tirelessly at perfecting his skill.
Craig has a keen eye for fine detail and painting realistic images, and interest in his artwork quickly increased, with Craig soon taking on commission orders in his private capacity. In 2010 he made the decision to become a full-time professional artist. Orders continued to come in as customers enjoyed his process of doing detailed preliminary drawings before starting the painting process, giving a visual explanation of the concept as well as the look and feel of the client’s requests. The convenience of this pre-painting stage for client and artist, was to have the concept confirmed before going ahead to the painting phase.
Since making the leap into the world as a full-time artist, Craig has experienced the freedom of pursuing his dream and has never looked back.
His work has resulted in a huge demand locally and abroad and articles on his art have been published in various magazines and books, including being on the cover of the International Game Fish Association journal on two occasions. His art appears in homes, hotels, boardrooms and on boats and has been commissioned by clients from all over the world. With most of his paintings having been sold, the high demand saw a large selection of his images being made available as high resolution canvas giclée prints, in open and limited edition.
READ THE FULL STORY IN THE MAY/JUNE 2018 ISSUE OF SKI-BOAT.