Hugh Syme

Hugh Syme is an internationally-renowned art director, traditional and digital illustrator, graphic artist, and painter from Canada.

Chances are very high that you’ve seen one of his artworks somewhere, or are one of the millions that even own one yourself! Hundreds of record-covers for world-famous acts like Aerosmith (Get a Grip), Celine Dion (Unison), Bon Jovi (New Jersey), Alice Cooper (A fistful of...), Iron Maiden (The X Factor), Kiss (Revenge), Rush (all since 1975) or Whitesnake (Serpens Albus 1987‚ Slip of the Tongue‚ Restless Heart) originated from him. And then there is his commercial artwork and motifs for international brands such as Audi, Apple’s iPod, Disney, Sea World, Bacardi, Coca Cola, Jaguar, Maserati, Porsche, Tesla, Johnnie Walker, Patron, Boston Beer, as well as editorials for Forbes Magazine and Co.

Thanks to all of these abilities he creates extraordinary visuals that often bridge the gap between the present and the future, the real and the surreal, the music and the visual. The very busy man’s fanciful output fulfills the industry’s requirements: timeless/modern outstanding eye-catchers – sometimes even including a very special twist that’s discovered on second sight or closer look only!

Hugh Syme started drawing and painting in childhood, inspired by M.C. Escher, with later inspirations drawn from the artists such as Vermeer and Dali. He studied at the Toronto New School of Art and York University in northeast England. His acquired skills were used in advertising first, but playing keyboards for the Ian Thomas Band, he created their album covers as well. So Neil Peart, drummer for Rush, acquired him to do the same for his rock band. The alliance that would foster their famous "Starman" logo started in 1975 and lasted up until today. Over the due course of various decades Syme has produced a multifaceted body of work. “ This artist’s high-standard creations have been honored numerous times (including awards and nominations of Junos, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys) and gained him an induction into the Album Cover Hall of Fame!

“I always endeavor to be creative, whether it be for a music project, a commissioned portrait, a commercial assignment, or even for my personal collection."

“Some of my favorites are pieces never or rarely seen by the public.” However different the topics might be, they all have one thing in common … what he calls “the realm of improbable reality.”

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