portrait of Grant Tigner
Grant Tigner

GRANT TIGNER GREW UP ON A FARM in the interior of Washington State. At age 14, he worked in a local sign shop creating displays for theatre. Designing and building floats for the community’s Apple Blosson Parade were part of his activities. By the time he left high school, he knew he was headed for art school. He studied first at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. After which, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he took a job working for a couple of very good Illustrators. Grant attended the Chouinard School of Art in his spare time. He learned much during his years in Los Angeles. First working for the illustrators, then later for advertising agencies producing ad layouts and designs, booklets, folders and like material.

From California he went on to New York and worked as a freelance artist. He went on to study with Frank Reilly at the Arts Students League. In his years in New York, Grant gained a great deal of fundamental information and skill in drawing. While there, he was married to his wife Edith and they moved to Majorca, Spain for one year. While there, he built his portfolio of drawings and commercial type illustrations.

House of Edith and Grant Tigner - Marorja Spain, 1950
Home of Grant and Edith Tigner – Marorja Spain, 1950

From Majorca, he and Edith went on to London, England. He was fortunate to
get some good illustration work. One of his first jobs was with Bull magazine,
the British equivalent of the Saturday Evening Post.

Before returning to the United States, he was granted a special visa to go
to Switzerland which allowed him to teach commercial art – a priviledge few
foreigners were allowed. Grant’s first son David was born during this time.
He and his new family returned home to New York.

Edith Tigner, 1950
Edith Tigner, 1950

In New York, Grant met and shared studios with other artists such as Stan Galli, one of the top illustrators in the United States. After which he moved to Montreal, Quebec and started in with a studio on a freelance billing basis. The work piled on. Grant worked for thirty-five years as an illustrator and art director, escaping when he could to paint. Eventually he got away from commercial work and began to focus his energy on what he loved to do – paint full-time.

In 1974, Grant settled with his wife and four children in Ottawa, Ontario. He taught at the Ottawa School of Art. As president of the school, he worked to find better facilities and to make the opportunity to explore the visual arts open to more people.

Grant Tigner has since passed away. His creative spirit lives on through his beautiful works of art. The work of Grant Tigner can be seen both online and through his book The Art of Grant Tigner.

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