There is a grand folkloric tradition in the Leatherstocking Region of Central New York State where Brandon Dawley was born. Mythical characters have been said to leap from local lakes and pastures, prepared – as with Paul Bunyan and his ax – to execute their outsized destinies. In keeping with that tradition, legend holds that not a single recorded image or memory exists of Brandon Dawley prior to age 13 unless he is hunched over a sketchpad with a pencil in his hand. He was called upon to draw, and draw he did – most often inspired by an early affinity for Marvel superhero comics.
Accounts of time and circumstance vary – some cite as the catalyst a chance yard sale encounter with the Thin Lizzy album Vagabonds of the Western World. Others point to Brandon’s discovery of Alfred E. Neuman and the legendary Mad Magazine. Either way, a switch was flipped, and along with adolescence came a willingness to step away from the sketchbook to seek inspiration outside the comic book universe. From pop and underground music of the 60s, 70s and 80s to early twentieth century pulp magazine art or cinema from Hitchcock to Herzog, he began to assemble the palette of cultural references that would inform his work for years to come.
A self-taught visual storyteller in the tradition of Henri Rousseau and Grandma Moses, Brandon draws upon his influences and makes them his own. In his exploration of the central European Krampus myth, his growing cast of original superhero-style characters, or his beautifully skewed takes on pop culture, romance, and relationships, he demonstrates a specialty: capturing a complete and compelling story in a single image. 
As a collaborator, he possesses the technical skill to execute a client’s particular vision, or bring him just the seed of an idea, and he will cultivate an array of visual options. To be sure, Brandon Dawley is a creator with a singular sensibility, but he prides himself on also being an artist who listens. If you’re interested in teaming up with an imaginative, high-energy illustrator who works well with others and (above all else) likes to laugh and have fun, his door is open.
"Brandon did a great job - executing everything from creative direction to illustration for a very complicated order (40 unique customized book covers) on a tight timeline. It was a pleasure working with him!"
- Brianna L. [via Deloitte Consulting]
"Brandon is a very talented illustrator who did everything we asked. Once he got a feel for what we wanted, he delivered great artwork in a timely fashion."
- Craig S. 
"Brandon and I have worked together for years and continue to work together now. He has designed business cards, post cards, ads, and banners for me as well as helped me with my website and several creative projects. Brandon is easy to work with, timely, and an excellent communicator. He always designs with my aesthetic in mind and I am always very pleased with his work." 
- Amy T. — amytavern.com
"Brandon created what many of our friends have called 'the best wedding invite ever' - my husband and I as superheroes on our very own comic book cover. What's more, he did that based on only three photos and a couple of emails from the other side of the globe! He kept us involved throughout the process and offered advice and options that worked. He was completely professional and kept to schedule. And it helps that the guy can DRAW. Like really DRAW. "
- Bec B. 
"Over the past three years I've had Brandon do multiple commissions (mostly comic book characters) and design one logo for me. I have always been pleased with the final product. His style and attention to detail is what keeps me coming back."
- Amy L.
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