The artist whose sales are 'adoptions'

Graham ‘ATTY’ Atwell is not your ordinary artist.

Seeded from his ancestral home of England, ATTY is a former central London cop turned Sydney resident. His switch from the MET Police to the art world is as unconventional and as fascinating as his work itself.

Growing up, ATTY had always doodled.  After becoming increasingly disillusioned with his day job, drawing became a more frequent and fervent creative release, however not in a form you would typically see. ATTY, a digital artist, is best known for creating stunning animal artworks with serious personality, from hares to emus and giraffes.

ATTY’s work has been adopted in more than 40 countries on every continent and welcomed into new homes by people from all walks of life.

These signature designs come to life after a meticulous, painstaking process, something ATTY admits habitually does not come naturally.

He spends countless hours on each artwork, working in three phases until each one is executed perfectly. Among the most crucial elements are colour composition, balance and placement.

Most of his animals take 150 to 250 hours to complete but his latest conception, an elephant known as Winston took about 695 hours.

Each ATTY piece is uniquely different. To ATTY, the characters he creates, after hours of love, come to life and develop their own personalities.

ATTY says he never names the animal until he sees it printed for the first time.

“I guess this a similar process to what many parents go through. These guys and girls are like my babies. It’s critical the right name goes to the right animal,” he says.

Take Winston for example, a striking individual, a young Asian Elephant of the most peculiar sorts. Winston has the remarkable ability never to forget. Therefore, he is ideal for those of forgetful sorts. He is destined to be a powerful leader, but for now, he is looking for a new home as he is growing too big for his current location.

ATTY’s creative ability is that he can instil nostalgic emotions through his works and characters. The purchase of these pieces is not considered a transaction but an ‘adoption’.

Once home, the chosen piece will become an integral part of the family.

What keeps him going is knowing that every time one of his animals is adopted, he feels privileged.

“It is amazing to know that my beloved animal is going to a loving owner and new home,” ATTY said.

ATTY has fast become one of Sydney’s most sought-after artists - how often would you find an elephant, koala and fox under the same roof if not in a children’s storybook?

ATTY‘s gallery in The Rocks, Sydney is home to a family of Australian, Farm and African wildlife under the same roof -  however all are in a digital art form.

A visit to the gallery is a must do. Follow the cobblestones through The Rocks to Playfair Street, where you will find a three storey white cottage which was once the residence of a colonial worker in 1877. This quirky building is now home to the first animal sanctuary located between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.