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  In 1979 my wife, Laura, and I moved to South Haven, Michigan. We relocated there in order to open a sporting goods store with our friend, John Konopa. The store was called West Coast Kayaks. We sold bicycles and accessories, camping gear, athletic footwear, sold and rented cross country skis, and sold and rented kayaks. We chose South Haven because, in addition to being a beautiful place to live, it's a great place for boating since it's located on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Chuck surfing Lake Michigan in Laura's kayak

  In addition to being a partner in a retail store as a day job, in the evenings I also did free-lance artwork for an ad agency called Pace & Partners. One of their accounts in the early eighties was the American Motors Corporation, and I drew many of the illustrations in AMC's Jeep owner's manuals. I gained lots of experience drawing in pen and ink. In the mid-eighties Pace landed the General Motors contract, and I started illustrating ALL of GM's owner's manuals.  I gained even more experience. However, there was so much work for GM that I couldn't continue to do that, and own a store. We sold the store in 1988 so I could devote all my time to drawing (and home renovation). Laura, in the meantime, had gone to work at a flower shop called The Rose Shop, which she now owns.

  In the mid-ninties I discovered the world of rubber stamping, and started illustrating hundreds of aircraft that would be turned into rubber stamps by a company called ImaginAir Designs. Since I love anything to do with aviation, it was a perfect fit. I also drew for another stamp company called Toomuchfun Rubberstamps. I was able to gain even more experience drawing for these two companies, especially in the stippling technique needed to make detailed images for stamping.

  It was at this time that I decided to start my own line of rubber stamps and created Gray Wolf Graphics. This web-site is the result. I still draw for other companies, and projects other than rubber stamps, but I've got to say that drawing my own images (and making cards from them) has been a lot of fun and is quite gratifying. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from customers along with some great tips on stamping and card making; lots of requests for stamp images, too.

  You may have noticed that a lot of my images are of wildlife. That's because Laura and I love the out-of-doors and my drawings reflect that. We still do lots of kayaking and hiking, and since I need photos for reference, it's a great excuse to do both.

 

At Ludington State Park
Gray Wolf

Copyright © Gray Wolf Graphics South Haven, MI
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