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Alister's burgeoning reputation as a highly collected and innovative artist led him to being invited to be the first ever official artist of the Tour de France for the Grand Depart in 2014. The huge success of this venture has led to him being invited to be the official artist for the Tour de France again.
Competing for the national title and becoming UK's Best-selling Artist
By 2010 and only three years after Claire and Alister had launched their business - Zeitgeist Fine Art, Alister's paintings and prints were competing in sales with some of the largest art publishers in the UK and that year he was nominated and a finalist in the 'Best up and coming selling artist 2010' in the Fine Art Trade Guild Awards. In 2011 sales continued to grow and he was nominated and finalist for 'Up and coming best-selling published UK artist' an accolade and position he retained every year until 2015.
2015 Best-selling UK Artist
In 2015 the award that had evaded Alister for six previous years was his; and Claire and Alister had achieved the impossible, consistently competing in sales with some of the UK's largest art publishers they secured the most prestigious of awards - The Fine Art Trade Guild 'Best-selling UK Published Artist'
The BBC take notice
Although initially met with a little resistance from the first few gallery owners Alister contacted; due to the fact his work bore little or no likeness to any known artist whose work the gallery owners knew sold. It only took one or two galleries to try a few prints before their confidence in Alister's paintings proved a viable risk.
I remember galleries calling us within an hour of having put the prints in the window display, they were literally selling immediately, that's when I realised that this was outgrowing Alister and that we had to evaluate what to do. This was very quickly becoming too much for just one person to contend with. We made the decision that we would start working together and that I would help control the logistics and practical running of the business so Alister could paint and try to keep up with the demand.
Within two years and despite the recession their business was growing year on year and significantly. All of Alister's exhibitions were solo exhibitions and each was selling out within the first day. In deed one exhibition sold out all ten original paintings even before they had been seen. It was then that Alister was interviewed on the BBC in a series called 'Made in Yorkshire' A series focusing on business' in Yorkshire bucking the trend during the recession and showing encouraging signs of growth. The interview launched Alister into a whole new realm of notoriety.
It's all about story telling
Alister is an English artist born in 1976 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and his artistic talent was evident from an early age. However, his studies at both college and university were entirely focused on his intention to pursue his passion for film-making. In Alister's third and final year he realised it was not the medium of film that engaged him particularly, but specifically the process of story-telling, regardless of the medium. Whilst producing storyboards, Alister rediscovered his love for illustration and the immediacy with which a story could be depicted.
From the pages of books to the gallery wall
After graduating from university Alister soon discovered that the interview rooms were full of his peers each of them competing for the same illustration jobs. After applying for a job described as an 'In-House Illustrator' only to discover that he would be photocopying pages from magazines for the unforeseeable future, Alister decided to make a significant change.
I walked out of that interview, I remember thinking there are so many of us competing for the same jobs, that for the employers it was rich pickings they could choose highly skilled illustrators to be photocopying for them. It made me re-evaluate everything! I started with my port-folio making it more commercial and much more focused, my strength seemed to be a natural infinity with childrens' books illustrations. A local art dealer asked to look at my work, he saw the illustrative work and suggested I consider producing collections for galleries. I did not believe my illustrative style would lend itself to the gallery forum, it was a real crossroads for me because my illustrations were just the beginning to be noticed and generate me a proper income, but I trusted his advice and I am grateful for his knowledge, experience and insight. I am also glad his instincts were so very accurate.