April 27, 2020

Meet the Maker – Greg Orfanus

by joeyphoenix

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Meet the Maker is a new series of features highlighting some of the most amazing makers across the North Shore! We will be featuring a handful of new makers every Monday to hopefully help mitigate the added financial strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the creative community. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook as well!

Meet Greg Orfanus

IG: @gregorfanos
Website: www.gregorfanos.com

In your own words…  what do you do? Describe the thing(s) you “make/create.”

I am an illustrator that mainly works in “Branding” small businesses, such as the Gulu Gulu Cafe, The Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Calla’s, 15 Walnut, Northampton Brewery, and several others. I have also done illustrations for editorial, advertising, and publishing. Like many other artists/illustrators, I also do gallery shows.

I have taught many classes that deal with different markets of illustration at Montserrat College of Art since 2011.

My work might be considered dreamlike or surreal. I like to capture mood that can be both foreboding and playful at the same time. As an illustrator I have a very specific job of meeting client’s needs and communicating their narrative with clarity, all the while maintaining my own style and unique way of storytelling. In my fine art, I get to have more “free reign” with my work. I’m able to play the role of the “trickster” in greater depth, creating images that play with people’s perception. I want them to accept what they see but also question it. I’m not required to follow a certain narrative or have ultimate clarity in my storytelling. The subject matter might have very little to do with the true meaning of the piece.


The world is curious — what inspires you to “make/create”?

Music is always playing in the background and the world around me is a huge inspiration. There are so many wonders if you just pay attention. All the tiny insects crawling around in the crevices of trees, abandoned railroad tracks overtaken by plant life, golden light cast on the sides of buildings against a dark blue gray sky, animals that seem to take on human
characteristics(I once saw a butterfly kick a bee out of a flower and I have the picture to prove it), the inanimate life of toys and the stories they might tell. I could go on and on.

Roughly how much are you expecting in losses over the next month?

A couple thousand dollars

What measures are you taking to reduce lost revenues?

I’m lucky enough to be teaching remotely, so I still have some money coming in. I’m also using this time to my advantage and create as much as I can. It’s a great time to re-evaluate your work, experiment, and discover new ways that might help you evolve.

What do you think could help everyone in this challenging time?

Slow down (if you are able) and use this time to contemplate. It might help us become more aware of ourselves and others. When all this is over, my hope is that people have a better idea of what is truly important in their lives.




Mixed media on watercolor paper with black matt
8″ x 10″ including black matt
Framed courtesy of Artist

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