LEE STOKES & JOSE MENDEZ
As the founding Artist to Grizzly Grayola, the road has been quite interesting. From simple illustrations of Donnie Vie, Baz Francis and Lewis John as V8, to then a workload evolving into the Guilt n’ Shame posts, videos and even an album.
The Enuff Z’Nuff album was a highlight when asked to design the cover for “Clowns Lounge”, and then progressing from strength to strength to the EZN “Troublemaker” video, and currently supporting the design, handling of album sleeves contents and final release in both Japan and the USA and Europe of Donnie’s epic new album “Beautiful Things”.
Art is my true passion, and I support anyone in need… Among the bands I support are The Quireboys, Haunted North, Dirty Gunnz, All Gods Fall, Baz Francis and anyone else along the way.
My influences in art are varied, but have always adored the work of Mark Wilkinson, best known for his surrealistic work with Fish and Marillion. The detail and hidden meanings are a definite selling point.
My Dream and Determination is in supporting the talent that is Donnie Vie, for the world to recognise and enjoy this musical master.
Raised on a healthy dose of Rock N' Roll, Comic Books, Kung Fu theatre & Luche Libre resulting in a creative mind filled with larger than life imagery. I have always lived a parallel life between art and music. Singing like my heroes, Lou Gramm and Paul Rodgers in bands whilst studying Michelangelo and DaVinci.
Professionally, one of my highlights was my tenure, almost 2 decades with HBO. Starting as a designer / photo retoucher from documentaries, film and original programs like Sex & The City and the Sopranos. Ultimately, becoming an Art Director mainly for HBO Pay-Per-View, creating campaigns from concept through production for their Boxing events. All the while personally working on music related projects both as a musician and an artist.
Fast forwarding to 2012, my near death experience [i'll save that story for another day]. I spent the last five years in recovery, with one mainstay being Donnie Vie. Not knowing at the time it would lead to my current relationships. The Enuff Z'Nuff "Strength" album was always playing in my house and in my head, even today!!
I literally owe my presence to Social Media. It started with joing a couple of Enuff Z'Nuff fan pages that triggered my EZN/DV related art. When I read that Donnie was nominated for a Grammy for Mrs.Vandervelde, I wrote a congratulary post as a thank you, accompanied by a piece of art I created, no expectations, just simply a debt of gratitude. Not long after, Amie Vie reached out to me saying Donnie loved the art and if I minded if he used it for his next album.
Long story short, here I am, a few dozen cover photos, profile pics, collages, Merch designs and promos later, a proud member of the Vie machine. Very excited about what the future holds and eternally grateful for the generosity, love and kindness shown by Donnie, Amie and my brother from across the pond, Lee Stokes