First published in 2017 as a contributor to the Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist YA anthology Wish Upon a Southern Star, Graham Davidson is an emerging writer of speculative fiction for all ages, illustrator of picture books, and an award winning artist.
His first picture book manuscript, The Great Cee-ah-li, was a finalist in the 2017 Writers Unleashed picture book competition and his cover illustration titled Rackus, Hero of the Universe was runner up in the 2017 Creative Kids’ Tales illustration competition.
In January 2018, he worked with children’s author, Emily S Smith, to launch the early childhood literacy initiative, Storytime Lane, featuring a website, animated storytelling videos (animated by Graham), picture books, junior novels, and STEM based resources.
He appeared at the 2018 Newcastle Writers Festival with Emily as part of the Family Fun Day activities and was a guest speaker on a panel at the 2018 Writing NSW Kids and YA Festival discussing independent publishing.
He began his creative career as a fifteen-year-old working in the darkroom at a Sydney based animation company, Film Graphics.
By the age of sixteen he’d become an animation assistant, or inbetweener, and did his first animation for a nationally broadcast commercial on one of the old Captain Super-Crunch Twisties commercials at the age of just seventeen.
He became one of the pioneers of special effects animation in Australia and was one of the first animators in the country to work with computers and computer-controlled cameras.
In 1990, animation cells from a traditional animation commercial he’d designed and animated were included as part of a major exhibition in Melbourne to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, his work hanging alongside the likes of John Coburn, Charles Blackman, and Robert Dickerson.
Desperate to breakaway from the cut-throat world of mainstream advertising, he moved to Bellingen in the early 90s where he designed and animated a piece for the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and staged his first solo exhibition, a series of drawings in pastel and Derwents inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
In 1992, he was offered a job by NBN Television, writing and directing television commercials for their Coffs Harbour office. Having only had limited experience directing and none at copy writing, he decided to give it a go. Two years later, the network offered him a job as the senior writer/director of the Newcastle commercial production department, with a brief to change the culture and entice the local advertising agencies.
Three years later, he made the decision to leave NBN and start his own production company where he produced and directed commercials for a broad range of high profile clients including Australia Post, the EPA, the RTA, NSW Health, NIB, and Carrier Air Conditioning.
During this time, he also taught animation and drawing skills on a part-time basis at the Hunter TAFE Institute and staged several exhibitions at Newcastle’s John Paynter and Back to Back Galleries.
In 2004, while developing a children’s’ series concept, Graham wrote up a twenty-page backstory about a dystopian world where a plague of nanobots altered DNA and created armies of mutants. The series never got off the ground, but ten years later Graham expanded the backstory out to a 130,000-word novel, Fire in the Veins, which is currently in it’s 10th draft and waiting for Graham to find time to revisit it.
With the writing of this first novel, Graham realised just how much he enjoyed writing and has now written three junior and middle grade novels and has a another three books that he's currently working on. His Witches of the Cross-worlds series is now his main priority, with a planned nine books with one to be released each year.
When he teamed up with Emily in 2018 to launch Storytime Lane, he also took on the task of illustrating a series of picture books written by Emily. The first two are complete with the third on the way. Footage has already been shot for the first five books to be turned into storytelling videos.
He also produces online tutorials for the American company FXPHD to provide training in high level special effects software and, in association with the university of Newcastle, is continuing development of a 1500-page website, the SHADE Treatment Program, the world’s first complete online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program. In his day to day work he continues to produce commercials and content videos using both traditional and 3D animation as well as live action along with his ongoing illustration work.
He continues to paint and draw, having produced several new works for Maitland's inaugural Artastique Festival in early 2019. And he now facilitates life drawing sessions every Wednesday at the Hunter Artisan Gallery and Cafe.