Nigel Frey was born and educated in London, where he has lived and worked all his life.
Developing interests from a young age
In his youth, Nigel was heavily influenced by the creativity and scientific advancements that prevailed. The intellectually based imagination of Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the James Bond films, interest in car design since The Daily Telegraph sponsored Bertone Jaguar Pirana concept car (of 1967), the boldness of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the design of British Rail's experimental Advanced Passenger Train, the innovative ideology behind the supersonic airliner Concorde and the Apollo 11 space mission to the Moon, all contributed towards Nigel’s creative thinking and the development of his own imagination.
A university education and career in graphic design, technical illustration and photography
Nigel’s burgeoning interest and talent for art and design led him to complete a degree course in graphic design at the London College of Communication (formerly London College of Printing), from which he graduated in 1979. He first embarked on a career as a technical illustrator with Irwin Technical Ltd in London. Then in order to broaden his work experience, he went on to work for a model making company, Adrian Marchant Ltd in New Malden, Surrey, during which he developed skills working in 3D on knights in armour, TV set backdrops and models for theme parks (using fibre-glass, latex and polystyrene).
He first entered magazine design work in 1981 with VNU Business Publications. However, his big commercial break took place in 1983 when he began his freelance career as a magazine designer for many of London’s leading publishing companies. This continued until the early 1990s, when he moved towards commercial photography, in which he specialises to this day.
Influences from the world of architecture, car design, art, fashion, music, photography and industrial design
Throughout his working life, Nigel has been influenced by various individuals and organisations in the art and design world. These have included the architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Cesar Pelli and Zaha Hadid; the car styling and concept houses of Pininfarina, Bertone and Sbarro; the artists Roger Dean, Maxfield Parrish and David Hockney; the fashion designer Alexander McQueen; music record cover designers Hipgnosis; photographers Mario Testino, Bill Brandt, David Bailey and Brassai; the industrial designer Luigi Colani and many more.
Travel has also helped to enrich Nigel’s creativity, especially from a cultural, historical, architectural, artistic and photographic point of view. Destinations include Istanbul (Turkey), India’s Calcutta and Darjeeling, Egypt’s tombs and temples, Italy’s history and volcanoes, Nepal’s Himalayan mountains and ancient cities, Morocco’s High Atlas mountains and Marrakech, Spain’s Pyrenees mountains and Greece.
In an attempt to encapsulate all the various skills (including the latest in digital imaging and desktop publishing), Nigel has also expanded into lecturing at Further and Adult Education level, in Adobe software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign), photography and concept art up to commercial level. He has also had much experience in teaching students exclusively with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
His wide variety of related working skills have been instrumental to Nigel’s continuing professional development, enhancing his productive capacity and allowing new career avenues to evolve.
Photography - graphic design - architecture - car design - fashion and art - museum and art gallery visits - films and CGI - science and space exploration - education and research - ancient history and current affairs - countryside walks and nature - worldwide travel.
Photograph by Laurence Bispham