I had the incredible opportunity lately to connect with a fellow nature-lover and all-around-awesome human named Patrick McGrady. Patrick is an Austria-born graphic illustrator whose inspiration (like mine) is taken largely from his love of the great outdoors. He has a wildly unique design style and an incredible knack for taking nature photographs and turning them into illustrations. He also has a really cool background story.
After graduating from high school in Europe and taking a gap year filled with traveling, Patrick decided to study abroad in America. His feet landed in UNC Asheville, a small city located in the Blue Ridge Mountains where he had a few family members. It was here where Patrick cemented his love for the outdoors - combining studying New Media with working as a camp adventure counselor and dipping his feet in photography and film-making. After feeling like a failure in the photography and film space, he eventually returned to Austria to spend some time with his family and reinvent himself as a creative.
When COVID-19 hit, Patrick was preparing himself to come back to the states for a job offer, which later was postponed. Like many of us, he had to quickly adapt to the situation. After a summer working in the outdoors expedition world again, he discovered his love of creating illustrations from photography. He began creating these illustrations as commissioned works for friends and family, then took the leap into full-time freelance in September. He describes it as a "scary leap, but totally worth it." He is five months in to the change and is still doing freelance on the side while managing his website. "It is mostly outdoor and nature-related work because to me, it's the most inspiring," he says. "I also get to go to these beautiful places to get the right mindset for approaching the next assignment. My style has changed a lot since the first illustration, but I see that as a good thing. Constantly learning new ways to be creative and marketing your work is fun and rewarding."
Patrick has found solace among the community of other outdoor creatives (like me!), which gives him new insights and inspiration for projects. "I'm looking forward to learning and gaining experience in the outdoor creative field and am excited for this upcoming year."
If you want to learn more about Patrick or his art, or get your own photos illustrated, you can reach Patrick via his website
or by shooting him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org