Blog You're Happy / Snapshot: Caleb Gray

Caleb Gray is one of the nicest people we’ve ever met. He’s simply a delight.

We first met Caleb when we walked Surtex in 2010. His bright and personalized booth caught our eye right away. The artwork was full of character, colour and cheer! After introducing ourselves and mentioning we were illustrators curious about art licensing, Caleb welcomed us into his booth and showed his books. Since then, he has been generous with his insight and encouragement.

Art licensing is a tough industry but friends like Caleb make it easier to navigate. And honestly, we just can’t get enough of his work. If you’re at Surtex in the future, make sure to stop by his booth. You won’t be sorry!

1. Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I create artwork that is licensed on products such as fabrics, cards, giftware, home décor, and electronic device skins.

2. How long have you’ve been doing this?
This is my fifth year licensing.

3. What’s inspiring you currently?
Anything playful, imaginative, or smile-triggering is big inspiration to me. Of course, I’m a huge fan of mid-century modern design, but inspiration can also be as random as a kooky cartoon, funky dance move, crisp classic movie dialog, or modern music video imagery. If it makes me smile, then I’m going to enjoy translating the humor, style, and imagination that grabbed my attention into my artwork!

4. What’s your dream project?
Given my affinity for the playful and imaginative, I have a hoot working on products for kids. When I’ve worked on products for kids’ wall décor, school supplies, and overalls I’ve had so much fun that my dream projects would be art other kids’ things like toys, children’s wear, bedding—anything fun and play-oriented. Plus, that way I can just stay a big ol’ kid myself!


5. What’s your favorite holiday?
When it comes to artwork, I love the spooky fun of Halloween! But the holiday I enjoy celebrating the most is Thanksgiving. There’s nothing to do except hang out with friends and eat lots of food! (Which is the perfect segue to your next question…)

6. Cake or pie, and why?
Cake all the way! Don’t get me wrong, I love pie too, but you just can’t beat cake—unless of course there’s brownies, cookies, ice cream… Mmm, now I’m hungry!

View more of Caleb’s work here and become a fan on his Facebook page here.

Thanks, Caleb!

Caleb and his partner Conor at Surtex 2012

Sorry You're Happy is an art licensing & surface design studio made up of husband and wife illustrators Kyle Reed and Jen Hsieh.

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