Craig McGill on Success and Wine Dogs

Craig McGill  knows that being a successful illustrator and business owner is all about hard work. As Australia’s only freelance currency designer, Craig has discovered that the key to gaining name recognition and achievement lies in the effort you are willing to put in.  “The only thing that all successful people (commercially successful that is) have in common is that they work harder than everyone,” shares McGill.

The Detailed Beginnings

Craig’s illustration career officially began at the age of 18 when he interviewed for a portrait artist position with the Reserve Bank of Australia Note Printing Branch. He was young, without a portfolio, and was interviewing among 400 other applicants. But he was willing to draw a whole portfolio under a tight deadline just to land what turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Success: It’s All in the Precision & Effort

The precision and detail of Craig McGill’s illustrations are nearly unmatched and reflect his values of hard work. The pen and ink illustrations are made to look like etchings; they are all hand drawn, labor intensive, and time consuming.  “A portrait that is banknote quality may take up to six weeks to complete”, notes McGill.

Precise lines and tight skills lead to Craig’s creation of Australia’s original $100 note, the Australian bi-centenary $10 note, and several other currency bonds and checks. Within less than a decade his unique style of currency illustration and engraving gained international recognition, even in the advertising world.

The Australian Post commissioned Craig to produce 16 different stamps, some of which feature his new passion: Wine Dogs.

Taking Time to Enjoy Simple Pleasures- Wine Dogs

When he’s not busy illustrating, Craig dedicates his time to Wine Dogs. The company, established in 1997, was inspired by his travels to wineries where he enjoyed the canine companions that tend to accompany vineyards and tasting rooms. Wine Dogs documents the simple pleasures of life. Photographs of dogs and a mix of short essays fill the pages of McGill’s Wine Dogs books. Craig and his partner have published 12 books, all of which are best-sellers!

Take a look into Wine Dogs  and see more work from Craig McGill through his Directory of Illustration portfolio .


© Craig McGill


© Craig McGill


© Craig McGill

© Craig McGill

© Craig McGill

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