Like most children Graham McArthur began drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil. Unlike most children he began drawing letters. Born in Adelaide, South Australia. He spent his formative years and countless hours observing and receiving daily doses of all things lettering from his father. From about the age of 10 he began to attend weekly Saturday morning art classes which lasted for approximately three years until he began High School. During this period he received sound instruction in drawing, oil, acrylic, water colour, pastel, chalk, gouache, charcoal, graphite and the importance of always carrying a sketch book and chocolate.
Soon after formal fine art studies at The South Australian School of Art, Graham had a short career as a portrait and landscape painter. However the demand for his lettering and design skills was growing fast and this ‘side work’ of illustration, lettering and typography began to take up much more of his time.
The shy and somewhat reclusive artist was encouraged into teaching after many invitations to visit University Art Classes as a guest speaker and occasional tutor for final year students. His visits and unique artworks were always well received, however Graham was reluctant to take up the offers of teaching.
It took a couple of years and a lot of persuading, but Graham was eventually lured into part time teaching across several campuses in subjects such as drawing, life drawing, illustration, techniques and rendering as well as typography, type design and graphic design. After disappearing from calligraphy and teaching for 10 years, Graham was dragged back into teaching after Janine Mitchell won a long battle to secure Graham for SSiW in 2004. Since then Graham has taught numerous calligraphy and art classes in all States within Australia as well as Canada.
Graham works full time as a fine artist from his studio in Adelaide and provides private lessons as well as group workshops on a variety of subjects suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced