Lee Vandergrift was born and raised in Central Florida. As a third generation native, his art work reflects the fun-loving, vibrant, lifestyle of Florida. Lee attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, majoring in Illustration with a minor in Photography.
After graduating, while other classmates were drawn to bigger cities such as New York, L.A., and Chicago, Lee returned to Orlando to begin his artistic career. Landing a position as an illustrator and photographer, he worked with “Zelo,” a creative arts magazine in Winter Park where he was proud to became its youngest cover artist ever.
Opportunity knocked in an unusual way at Buster Brown Children’s Apparel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A longtime friend and fellow artist called and told him of a creative position as an artist working with designers producing art for children’s clothing. He loved that line of work, but after almost 6 years in the mountains of Tennessee he returned to Florida to work full-time with the Walt Disney Corporation as a staff photographer in Disney Photographic Services.
Lee then served as Administrative Art Director for Orange County at the Orange County Courthouse. The work was more conservative and graphic-design related but he loved the challenge and responsibility. After almost 16 years, he decided to do things on his own and is working as a freelance artist and photographer.
Lee recently published “The Beard Envy Project” book which features a diverse array of men with beards. The book has been heralded for its creativity and artistry and was a big success. He is now focusing his sights on “From Behind,” a photo essay on men’s posteriors which he hopes to publish in several volumes.
Lee lives in Downtown Orlando with his Bichon Frise’ Sophia. Contact Lee about his art, photography, and upcoming projects at www.LeeVandergrift.com