Craig Ivor was born in South Africa and his artistic ability was recognised at the early age of 12. His entry into a West Rand School art competition resulted in first prize and his work exhibited at Pretoria’s State Theatre. This experience combined with his parents’ frequent visits to the Kruger National Park, fuelled Craig’s interest in wildlife, bird watching and sketching nature. After matriculating in 1995, Craig worked for the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, reinforcing his passion for wildlife and birds whilst growing his artistic talents. He completed a 2-year Art Diploma at the Roodepoort College in Johannesburg and entered the world of graphic design.
In 2012 Craig was commissioned by Penguin Books to illustrate Marguerite Poland’s memoir, ‘Taken Captive by Birds’. The book was selected by radio personality Jenny Crwys-Williams as her non-fiction book of the year in 2012 and short-listed for the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2013. In 2013 Craig entered the portrait ‘Marty Whitman’ in the Sanlam National Portrait Competition. This piece was selected in the top 5% of over 1 800 entries. It led to the commission of the portrait ‘Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’.