My Story

"We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything."
- Jonah Lehrer

Lesley Gray Headshot

Hello, I'm Lesley, a travel photographer and nostalgia junkie. Neon Gray is my passion project. A little product label, combining photography and design to create a unique blend of fun, quirky artwork with a vintage, retro feel.

I have my grandparents to thank for Neon Gray in a lot of ways. My grandfather was an artist and photographer and although he died when I was 2, I grew up surrounded by his work at home. My granny would go on trips and send me postcards from all over the UK. She died when I was 7 and I still have a scrapbook full of those, now vintage, postcards. So when I was gifted an old Pentax K1000 for my 18th birthday it sparked my love of vintage cameras and reignited my passion for travel photographs. 

I’ve been photographing towns, cities and landscapes across the globe for 17 years now (what?!), but I’d always had a hankering to delve more into design. It started in 2013 from a tiny desk in the corner of my living room with a range of 8 greetings cards featuring my love for Glasgow and that timeless old camera style. I had a wee box sitting on a chest of drawers that all the cards fitted in to. To be honest, I really didn't expect it to go anywhere.

Well, that first batch of cards was all but gone in just a few days and I realised I'd created something that people really loved! Those cards were the beginning of my bestselling Scottish Banter Collection that you still see today. Back then, there wasn't the wealth of modern, fun Scottish products that there is now, that celebrated Scotland and its unique dialect, sparked memories for people and gave them a unique keepsake. Fast forward a couple of years and I created a totally separate product label, Neon Gray. My travel and landscape photography didn't gel with this quirky collection and I launched Neon Gray in October 2016. I really love having my own product label!

If I had to sum the brand up in a few words I'd say vintage nostalgia, retro prints, and analogue travel photography. I suppose the brand is like my cooler, younger sibling. It's playing around with vintage cameras, throwing it back to the 80s and 90s and remembering summers spent drinking tea with my granny sticking my postcards in that scrapbook. Neon Gray is all about evoking memories. Be it travels, phrases you remember people saying or special moments with friends. Perfect for pals that love to travel and explore or celebrating friendships and time spent with the best people. Keeping those moments alive until your next adventure.

I believe that travel and adventure are food for the soul. Whether it's trying a new local restaurant, hiking a Munro or exploring a rustic city somewhere in the world; adventure is at the heart of my happiness. Travel feeds my creativity and allows me to design artwork that evokes memories and sparks a little nostalgia or wanderlust in you.