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Locals Only by Greg "Craola" Simkins

Limited Edition of 50 (signed & numbered) 

Fine art Giclée print on Italian cold-press watercolor paper

20" x 16"

Printed by Paragon Press

Artist Statement

"Hammerhead sharks have always been fascinating to me for many obvious reasons. Aesthetically, they stand out tremendously amongst their cousins and are quite beautiful.

I attach other color schemes and skins to these fish but always keep coming back to the odd protuberance unique to this species."

About the Artist

Greg Simkins was born in 1975 in Torrance California, just south of Los Angeles. He grew up with a menagerie of animals including a number of rabbits, which often emerge in his paintings.  He began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by various cartoons and books. Some standout books that still find their way into his art are Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

Simkins' art continued to progress to the age of 18, when he started doing graffiti under the name "CRAOLA". Graffiti art became his impetus for creating and gave him the confidence to paint large works.  In addition it taught him perspective, color theory and further developed artistic skills, which later translated into his work with acrylics.

After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art from California State University of Long Beach in 1999, Simkins worked as an Illustrator for various clothing companies.  He later moved on to Treyarch/Activision where he worked on video games including Tony Hawk 2X, Spiderman 2and Ultimate Spiderman while attempting to paint with every free moment he had.

In 2005, Simkins pursued his desire to paint as a full time artist. Since then, he has been featured in numerous group exhibitions has had successfully sold out solo exhibitions.  His art is seen in a wide variety of industries from clothing to video games and has also come to life in the form of toys. His client/collaboration list includes Disney, Mattel, Upper Playground, Juxtapoz, To Die For, Vans, Converse, AFI, Saosin, Gym Class Heroes, Pennywise, STRANGEco, Ningyoushi, Kid Robot, Zero Friends, Epitaph, Dark Horse, Iron Fist and Pulse International.

It is his careful weaving of pop culture, the old masters, nature, carnival kitsch, and (most importantly) his warped imagination, that makes Greg Simkins a sought-after surrealist painter today. Simkins' artwork currently appears in galleries throughout the world.

Species of the month
Hammerhead Sharks

Photograph by Christine Shepard

Photograph by Christine Shepard

Photograph by Tre' Packard

Conservation Status
Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Hammerhead sharks are exemplary predators that use their unique shaped heads to enhance their ability to locate prey. Their wide-set eyes give them an excellent visual scope than most other sharks. By spreading their highly specialized sensory organs over their broad, mallet-shaped head, they can better scour the ocean for food.

One group of sensory organs is the ampullae of Lorenzini, which enables sharks to identify, among other things, the electrical fields generated by prey animals. The hammerhead's increased ampullae sensitivity allows the shark to find its favorite meal, stingrays, which usually bury themselves in the sand.

Normally found in mild and tropical waters worldwide, far offshore and near shorelines, hammerheads are frequently seen in large summer migrations seeking cooler water. These sharks are usually light gray and have a greenish tint to them. Their bellies are white which allows them to be close to the bottom of the ocean and blend in to sneak up on their prey and they have heavily serrated, triangular teeth. Their extra-tall, pointed dorsal fins are easily identifiable.

The great hammerhead is the largest of the nine identified species of  hammerhead shark. Growing up to 20 feet (6 meters) in length and weigh up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg), though smaller sized hammerheads are more common.  

The majority of hammerhead species are fairly small and are viewed as harmless to humans. However, the great hammerhead's massive size and fierceness make it potentially dangerous, though few attacks have ever been recorded.

In March 2013, several critically endangered shark species, including the scalloped and great hammerheads, were added to Appendix 2 of CITES, bringing shark fishing and commerce of these species under licensing and regulation. 

You can help save hammerhead sharks

  1. Donate to organizations working to raise awareness and research such as PangeaSeed, RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, Project AWARE, etc.   

  2. Advocate stronger global and regional action to protect hammerhead sharks and other threatened marine species.

  3. Support the establishment and protection of marine protected areas (MPAs).    

  4. Recommend ecotourism and dive or snorkel with hammerhead sharks - but remember to look and DO NOT touch these animals. This offers sustainable monetary alternatives to destructive fishing methods.    

  5. Think twice before you buy.  Do not support the trade of shark products and other threatened marine and try to reduce your carbon footprint.  

  6. Educate yourself, friends and family on the issues facing hammerheads and other endangered ocean animals. Act NOW if you wish to save our seas.

The Story behind Seeker

Greg "Craola" Simkins

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