George Rowbottom was born in North Wales, educated in the North of England and grew up in London. He graduated with a 1st. class honours BA in Fine Art (Painting). With two fellow graduates he pursued a career as a comedy writer and performer. The three were spotted and signed to a London management company (the same as Fleetwood Mac).
Over the next few years the act would write and voice a radio series for BBC North and take their ground-breaking, alternative comedy the length and breadth of Britain, sharing the stage with the likes of Roxy Music, Thin Lizzie, Curved Air and Humble Pie.
Life on stage lead to life in London and a new adventure as director of an animation studio based in an historic Thames-side wharf. Crunchy Frog Studios worked on TV projects and feature films for production companies in London, Paris and Los Angeles. Through contacts made he was commissioned to paint murals for Elton John’s Rocket Records.
Applying paint to walls, surprisingly, evolved into a life in rock ‘n’ roll and album-sleeve design. Elton John, Queen and Eric Clapton were some of the artists and EMI, Arista and Rocket just some of the labels he worked for. He set up Jubilee Graphics in Soho’s Wardour Street, painted the poster for the Genesis-headlined Knebworth Festival and was appointed Creative Director for both Stiff Records and Rialto Records.
He was also at the inception of Newell and Sorrell which grew to become one of Europes’ leading design consultancies. A life in rock ‘n’ roll ‘morphed’ into a life in advertising. George worked as both copywriter and art director on many major television and print campaigns and as Creative Director for several leading London agencies.
For much of his professional career he worked as a consultant to a wide range of clients from his studios in Soho, Carnaby Street and Convent Garden specialising in film, television and stage entertainment. George worked extensively with George Harrison’s HandMade Films and with the Monty Pythons; created film posters and campaigns for the iconic Withnail and I, Terry Gilliams’ Brazil; Life of Brian, A Fish Called Wanda and the Bond movies; sold Bentley motor cars to the Japanese market and Rolls-Royce to the English; designed high-end magazines for high-street retailers; wrote strap-lines for Hollywood blockbusters (notably Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula) and campaigns for West End musicals and English National Opera.
He also helped launch the career of Barry Manilow. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival, been a D&AD judge, competed in Daily Mail London to New York Air Race, written editorial for magazines and scripts for television. And once, aged twenty-two, was Father Christmas at a large, UK department store.
George migrated to Queensland, Australia, in 2002. His professional career which began as a painter of pictures and evolved to encompass graphic design, promotional video, copywriting, radio, film and television advertising, has come full circle. He now paints full time.