Through many twists and turns in a very varied career, the constant theme in my work has been my desire to keep learning and developing drawing and painting. Through painting large scale murals to small ink drawings for chapters headings for a book, from designing a large-scale tapestry for community involvement or doing an editorial illustration for a magazine. For me it always comes back to a 2b pencil and the ability to draw. Different pencils, different paints, whether digital or real it is always the desire to draw and tell a story.
Artist and illustrator Andrew Crummy was born in Craigmillar, Edinburgh and his introduction to art and storytelling was through the Craigmillar Festival Society. His childhood memories are full of Community Arts events that involved festivals, drama, music, clowns, colour and laughter. He trained as an illustrator at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, then on a MA Design course at Glasgow School of Art.
His professional life started off in London working for the band, Everything But The Girl and such publications as New Musical Express, The Observer, Timeout and Good Housekeeping. His work through design agencies developed into creating large scale murals around building sites in busy high streets across the UK. These murals were often the history of cities, towns or places. This then developed into more artworks in public and community settings and over the years Andrew has been involved with many mural projects around the world.
Recently he has been the designer for The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, The Scottish Diaspora tapestry and The Great Tapestry of Scotland. The latter was the brainchild of Alexander McCall Smith, Andrew Crummy and Alistair Moffat and Andrew’s designs were stitched by a team of over a thousand volunteer stitchers. It was displayed for the first time in 2013, and 2021 will see the opening of The Great Tapestry of Scotland Gallery in Galashiels, a purpose-built national exhibition centre which will be the permanent home of the world’s longest tapestry.
Andrew based his drawings for THE GREAT TAPESTRY OF SCOTLAND COLOURING BOOK (Birlinn, 2021) on his original designs for the Tapestry. Some of the pages reproduce the finished panels closely, while others merge details and motifs from different panels – each one is a fascinating invitation to colour-in and find out more about the story of Scotland and this remarkable work of art.