In the beginning…….

Ray and brother, Mike. I was a Spiffy dresser even back then!

Raphael Louis Masters, born London England, 1950.

I grew up with a love for drawing and creating. My Mum in particular was really gifted.  She’d spend hours with “her boys” making all kinds of arty and crafty things.  I actually got my first break as a paid artist at the oh so young age of 12.  My Dad owned a big London restaurant, actually two restaurants next door to each other.  One of them was a really great British Fish and Chip place.  Me and my brother Mike, that’s him on the right in the photo, would illustrate the take out box tops with fish cartoons inspired by Dr. Seuss.  It was such a cool idea….some of my Dad’s regulars even collected them.  I loved doing the art and it sure beat mowing the lawn for earning pocket money.

Fast forward 4 years and I finally escapes school on my 16th birthday.  To say I didn’t like it is a bloody great big understatement.  In fact the only classes I went to in my last year and a half were art and sports.  The rest of the the time I could be found hiding in or hanging around the Kinkaju coffee bar with my mates from the local art school.  I really wanted to go there but my lousy grades in High School put the kibosh on that one. So off to work instead…the very next day.

My first year working was in an advertising agency, first in the graphic design studio and then photographic department.  During this time I was apprentice to some really talented illustrators, calligraphers and photographers.  It was pretty enjoyable.  No computers.  Just your hands.  I just didn’t see myself doing that kind of thing full time so, next……..

Went into my big love….motor sports. First building and maintaining Formula race cars. Then into the biggest Dune Buggy company in Europe.  I built some cool cars and did all the design, expo and advertising work as well.  It was a great time in my life.  Super cool cars to drive.  Great little company to work for. Creative opportunities. Good times!

Then all of a sudden I found myself living in Malta with my recently emigrated family.  I stayed there for about a year….got married, really young, to a local girl and then moved back to England for a few years before returning to Malta.

During those 12 years I worked in 2 very different industries. Audio and Offshore oil exploration!

Obviously, not a whole bunch of art happened in either job so lets move on…….