The visual arts were central to Alasdair Gray’s life, but he achieved recognition first and foremost as a writer. He originally studied at Glasgow School of Art (GSA), from 1952-57, and it was whilst there he began to write sections of what would later become his most critically acclaimed novel, Lanark, published in 1981. However, visual art was his first love and it was often inseparable from his written work as shown by number of drawings and covers he did for his publications. Following his time at GSA, Gray worked as a scene painter and produced several murals around Glasgow. He continued to work as both an artist and a writer, producing large bodies of work in both. In 2001, Gray became joint Professor of Creative Writing at Glasgow University.