When I first started out with Fisher Classics I got an Insta follow from a blue tick account that turned out to be English Cricketer, Nick Compton.
For those not in the know, Nick was an opening batsman for Englands test side. He played 16 tests with a top score of 117, along with 194 First Class matches for Middlesex and Somerset.
He’s South African born and also the grandson of Dennis Compton – an iconic English cricketer.
To put Nick’s Grandfather into context for Australians; Don Bradman described Denis as one of the greatest cricketers he’d ever seen.
Denis Compton was not only a WWII Vet and contemporary of Keith Miller but played as a winger for Arsenal.
It turns out that Nick is not only a world class opening bat, but he’s a weapon photographer.
After a bit of back and forth about photos and stuff he suggests that Fisher Classics should do a series on his Grandfather.
So after fanboying out and trying to come back to earth I got to researching.
Denis was the author of many, many books on cricket. He released an ‘Annual’ such was his fame as well as books on his cricket career, his football career and on sport in general.
The cover art was absolutely fantastic and I spent hours and hours researching titles and pouring over their fantastic designs; many minimal with handcrafted painterly details. This assignment was truly created for Fisher Classics.
After a while I started to wonder more about this fellow who’d mysteriously got in touch via Instagram. Why did he want more artwork about his Grandad when he was clearly such a talent himself? Books had actually been written about his ancestor and not so much about his career.
After a bit of digging (Aussies are not very good with players from countries other than Australia) I uncovered a bit more about Nicks career and what sort of challenges he’d faced.
Ultimately breaking into the English side after a retirement and the omission of another FC athlete, Kevin Pietersen in 2012; Nick had gone pretty well in India, opening with Alastair Cook (another FC alum).
He was in and out of the side over the next 4 years. Digging in when his team needed him in some fairly unglamorous opening innings. He snagged tons against New Zealand as well as facing R Ashwin on an Indian tour and coming up against the motherland in South Africa.
It certainly felt to me that in the context of his families contribution to the British sporting landscape and given the circumstances of his selection in the English test side, that Nick had an incredibly engaging story that was worth celebrating.
In creating this artwork I was keen to incorporate three elements; the family legacy and expectation, Nick's South African upbringing and his love of photography.
The layout cover colours were inspired by South African travel guides from the late 1970’s and early 80’s (about the time Nick and I were born).
The spectrum device is a nod to the instamatic cameras of years past. This initially had a broader set of colours but I chose to leave them out after some experimenting.
The title ‘In Sun and Shadow’ is the title of a Denis Compton book. Seemed to also capture the two toned nature of being an opening batsman and the selections Nick was afforded.
You can have your very own sporting moment immortalised in the vein of a book or playing card. Take a look at Fisher Classics Custom Art page for galleries and our range of custom artworks.