Greg on the Cover of Beach Magazine

Artist Greg “Craola” Simkins’ Storybook Surrealism

By Bondo Wyszpolski

“It just seems to be something that I always did,” says Greg “Craola” Simkins. “It was always in me.”

Simkins is seated at a table in the Torrance studio that he shares with three other exceptional artists, painters Bob Dob and Graham Curran, and digital sculptor Kevin Pasko. Tattoos and ear piercings might lead one to think otherwise, but there is a focused, gee-whiz kind of boyishness about Simkins. He’s telling me that he can’t ever remember a time when he wasn’t drawing and making art.

Like many other children growing up in the South Bay, Simkins was absorbed by early morning cartoons. He cites “Popeye” as one example, and the show’s moderator, Tom Hatten, who encouraged kids at home to sit and draw. Not that Simkins needed much urging. He’d pass the time sitting at a table, drawing on the butcher paper that his parents unrolled for him. Read more...

Photo by Brent Broza (