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greggGregg Hangebrauck began as many creative professionals do - as an artist. Classically trained in the graphics ( prepress ) trade, Gregg's natural artistic ability, coupled with his thorough knowledge as a production artist has allowed him to provide his creative talents for many of the most prestigious clients in the advertising and publishing industries in both Chicago and New York. The list of more than a thousand magazine covers in which Gregg has provided color and retouching contain over ten years of Vanity Fair, which includes such iconic imagery as the Demi Moore (pregnant) and ( body painted ) covers. Few graphic artists can match Gregg's list of high profile clientele.


Lake County Illinois artist Gregg Hangebrauck became very interested in art at an early age. Upon seeing a realistic drawing sometime before beginning grade school, he was determined to be an artist. Drawing was something he took seriously and was driven to do ever since.

Much of Gregg's grade school & high school works were pencil and pen & ink drawings of people he knew. Many of his subjects were his teachers and school friends. Gregg realized early on that he had a gift for capturing very realistically the people he came in contact with. When Gregg should have been learning about science, english or math, he would be distracted by studying his latest artistic subject, drawing him or her over and over until he had them just right. When arriving at a finished face in which there was no question of who the person was, Gregg would then draw elaborate scenes, often humorous, in which the subject became the brunt of a visual parody much like you would see in the then popular Mad or Cracked magazines of the time. " I was very popular when a new masterpiece was hung in the school cafeteria." Gregg was also introduced to a camera and a darkroom ( in his home ) before beginning middle school. He was developing and printing his own photographs at the age of eleven. " Nobody was more suited to, or as well prepared to enter the graphic arts than I was. " It was Gregg's natural choice of careers.

Shortly after graduating high school Gregg was intrigued after touring a local graphics firm. He knew his artistic ability would serve him well in the company, and after calling them twice a week for six months they finally had to hire him. His natural ability landed him a position in the art department, and after an abbreviated apprenticeship he became a journeyman etcher. The years of training in this cutting edge company finely honed his skills of observation, color, tone, perspective, and composition. As a retoucher before the advent of the computer, a skilled artist such as Gregg would be asked to " Photoshop " special effects by hand in a dark room and an etch sink. The results were as seamless and natural as the work being done on today's computers. Later, when his company purchased a computer which cost the firm nearly a million dollars, Gregg was the natural choice to be selected to operate the rare and expensive color and retouching equipment. Labeled as a top artist on the machine by the manufacturer within a six month period, Gregg was being sought after by some of the most prestigious firms in the country. Shortly afterward Gregg was retouching the highest profile imagery to be found.


Gregg's professional career began at a local company known as the Charles Munder Company ( later to be called MunderColor ). Beginning as a color proofer, Gregg was soon placed in the prestigious art department of this well respected pre-press firm. MunderColor was the first in Illinois to own drum scanners. They were a leader in the Illinois prepress industry and were considered in the top three companies in the Midwest. Gregg made journeyman in a period of two and a half years, which was normally a four year apprenticeship. Shortly afterwards he was considered one of their top artists. Much of the work being done at MunderColor was agency work, with clientele including Johnson Motors, Mandabach & Simms, and Jovan among others. It was during this time that Gregg broadened his interests and gained a private pilot's license in which flying light aircraft became a hobby. Gregg spent twelve happy years at " Munders " progressing from a darkroom and etch sink artist to a high end system operator. MunderColor was also a first in the Chicago area to purchase a Crosfield high-end color retouching and pagination system, and after a period of six months, Gregg was considered one of the very best operators in the country.

With Gregg's growing reputation as a true artist on the state of the art equipment, it was at this time that another leader in the Chicago graphics community, Howard Miller, owner of The Color Company, phoned Gregg and offered him the position of lead operator on their soon to be installed Crosfield equipment. The Color Company was the main color vendor for Conde'Nast publishing in New York, providing color and retouching as well as pagination for their flagship magazines, which included Vanity Fair, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Vogue, H&G, Brides, Gourmet, Traveller, and Allure among others. Gregg was soon to be a key player in providing retouching on the very best imagery in the country. The images in which Gregg's skills were utilized include works by such iconic photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Harry Benson, Helmut Newton, and Herb Ritts. Over the course of the next ten years, Gregg's position in the firm increased from lead artist and retoucher to Manager of the Color Division at The Color Company.

After ten happy years at The Color Company, the firm's main client, Conde'Nast moved all of their work to a rival vendor, Applied Graphics Technologies, which also moved on site into the Conde'Nast building in New York. The Color Company could not weather such a devastating loss, and soon sold it's remaining business to American Color. While Gregg was retained to manage the Color division at American Color, he was not satisfied with the quality of work, and after a period of six months, he was offered a position at Applied Graphics Technologies on site at Conde'Nast in New York as a quality control inspector, lead artist, and mentor to the artistic staff at AGT. Gregg was needed to quiet the growing unhappy relationship between the art directors of the various magazines, specifically Brides, and the color retouching staff at AGT. It was not that the art staff at AGT was any less talented, but rather they needed to be instructed in the tried and true processes which were successful in maintaining the high standards of quality which The Color Company provided. Gregg soon won over the staff at AGT, and flourished as a leader in one of the best art departments he had ever been a part of.

After being in New York for a period of a year, it came time for a change. The balance between family life and work was too demanding for Gregg's young family. With a daughter in the first grade, and a two hour commute, Gregg made the decision to leave the highest profile position of his career to move back to Illinois. His former employer, American Color ( previously The Color Company ) offered Gregg his position as Manager of the Color Division back, no questions asked, and treated his year long stay in New York as a leave of absence. Gregg remained at American Color for a period of two more years.

After leaving American Color, Gregg went to work for the Graphic Arts Studio in Barrington Illinois. The main client for G.A.S. was Crate & Barrell, and during this time, Gregg helped to implement new processes such as color management ( the making of input, monitor, and output profiles ) which greatly improved the efficiency of the company to match and maintain color in a much shorter time frame. While Gregg only remained at G.A.S. for a period of a year, his introduction of color management and a better form of masking improved their processes greatly. Gregg then left G.A.S. to be a part of a newly formed company by a long time friend.

Over the next five years in this new company, Gregg was influential in implementing color management, the use of pen tablets (instead of a mouse) which is a far more precise tool for hand retouching. Through his use of Photoshop Actions and scripting repetitive tasks Gregg greatly improved productivity. The main client of this local company during this time was Wilson Sporting Goods, and the range of work included all forms of color retouching from models to mechanical.

Gregg now divides his daily life by freelancing as a graphic artist / retoucher, and as an easel painter creating contemporary realist works in oils on canvas and linen. He is currently selling oil paintings in The Great Artist Collective on Royal Street in New Orleans LA.



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