Growing up in Greenock in Scotland, Craig Black always had a passion for football and art. After he walked away from a career as a professional footballer, a chance meeting with his old art teacher helped him take a brave step to change his professional path and follow his love of art.  

We asked Craig about his journey from sport to art and the challenges he overcame along the way. 

Sharing a passion for football  

Craig found inspiration when Scotland qualified for the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament. It was the first time Scotland had got through to be part of a major tournament in over 20 years and he wanted to mark the occasion in a unique way. 

Combining his passion for football and art, Craig developed an eye-catching paint-pouring technique called “Acrylic Fusion”; he applied this technique to a football in the brand colours of Scotland.  

Football covered in blue, red and white acrylic paints in the brand colours of Scotland by visual artist Craig Black.

The project started with a football for Scotland, but now you can see the Fusion Series - Footballs, which depicts the brand colours of nine different European football teams. 

Starting a career as a visual artist 

The road to pursuing a career as a visual artist wasn’t always easy for Craig. "The early stages of starting a business are always going to be tough and they were for me too. I went from a full-time job to running my own business with no guarantee that work was going to come in,” Craig says.  

“However, I’ve always believed that taking huge risks can equal huge rewards. I always believed in myself and knew the end goal was to run a successful business that allowed me to create a lifestyle that worked for me and my family,” Craig added. 

Craig explains: “I believed that the only way for me to make that happen was to take control and forge my own path by starting my own studio. Through hard work and determination, I’ve managed to make that happen and I genuinely love what I do.” 

Visual artist Craig Black with his family
Craig Black Instagram: @_CraigBlack

Combining a passion for art and football 

Since the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, Craig has collaborated with partners such as FIFA, UEFA and The Premier League to showcase his Acrylic Fusion Football Artworks in live performances. 

Today, Craig runs Studio Craig Black based in Greenock with his wife, Ally, who has played a huge role in supporting him and giving him the confidence to reach his goals.  

As well as Ally’s support, Craig welcomes advice from others and isn’t afraid to ask for help when needed. “I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for help but also that I'm capable of so much more than I thought I was and that anything is possible,” he says. 

Craig is focused on making an impact with his work and inspiring others. Craig says: “Feel the fear and do it anyway! As cliche as it sounds, you’re never going to achieve your goals by sitting in your comfort zone. I think that most things in life worth having come with an element of risk and you’ve just got to be brave enough to take that first step.” 

Feeling inspired? Find out more about the power of football in Scotland. 

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