He was always more of an After Hours Plato. Always going on about this law or that one, in his posh voice. She was never sure if he had actually been a lawyer in a former life, but eyeing up his shabby Tesco carrier bag and faded brown suit, she doubted it. He used to prop up the bar where she worked after school; it was a tiny old man’s pub, boring as hell but she needed the cash.

She never paid him much notice until one hot afternoon on the housing estate. She had been laughing with her mate about flunking school when the old man had suddenly stood up and shouted at her, “hey Tracy!, ” he pointed straight at her, “don’t you ever laugh about screwing up your school years. Plenty of us did that and look where we are now!” at this he slumped back down and slugged back his whisky.


She tried to laugh off his outburst but it really niggled her. She knew that she pretended to be thick at school, so she wouldn’t get bullied but how did he know that? She started talking more to him after that. Asking him about the stupid laws he was always going on about, asking him about philosophy and politics. Once her curiosity had been awakened, she couldn’t contain it. She had a thirst for knowledge that shocked her with its ferocity. No-one from around here ever talked to her like that and it was her secret. She had confessed to him that she would love to have been a lawyer one day but poor girls like her, with scruffy accents could never become lawyers. “I’m from the estate and it is too big a jump for someone like me. It is just a pipe dream.” He just shook his head at this.


However, their talks had given her a strange confidence to tune in at school. She had been shocked to discover that she had passed all of her exams with flying colours. She was actually the top of all of her classes. As she ran into the pub, breathless, desperate to tell him the great news, she was perturbed to find his usual place vacant. She asked the manager where he was. After Hours Plato was always in the pub!

“Dunno, love. He hasn’t been in all day.” the manager just shrugged. Well, he didn’t turn up all week and she was now seriously worried.

It was on the Saturday that the pub door opened and a very official looking man in a suit walked in. He spotted her straight away and came up to ask if she was Tracy. Handing her an envelope, he nodded and pushed a crisp white business card across the bar at her, “Call me once you have digested the letter and I will make the necessary arrangements.”

She opened the envelope, reading the letter,

“My dearest Tracy,

I know you used to call me “After Hours Plato” behind my back, so I am leaving you two things. The first is one of his most famous quotes:

“Οι καλοί άνθρωποι δεν χρειάζονται νόμους που να τους λένε να ενεργούν υπεύθυνα, ενώ κακοί άνθρωποι θα βρουν έναν τρόπο γύρω από τους νόμους.”

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

You see, Plato believed only that there were good people and bad people and in between we had laws to govern both. You, my girl, are a good person. You are not defined by your childhood or your accent or the estate where you grew up. You are defined by your drive, intellect and ambition. Law knows no class. Law knows no accents. It is much much purer than that.

So, I am leaving you something else. I am leaving you my estate which is substantial. Wealth, for me was inherited but money only brought me unhappiness. I hope that my wealth will enable you to go and be the lawyer you were always destined to be, but always remember your true wealth is your intelligence and that will never leave you.

From After Hours Plato to a Future Female Plato.”



“Miss Simpson creates arcane iconography to redeem your soul from a recidivist consumer culture”

C.C. O’Hanlon

old money corrupts (blondes) (small)

I was one of the first gamers (ZX81) who also couldn’t resist drawing all over my mother’s fashion magazines whilst I consumed hours of American stories through literature and TV. I guess that pretty much sums up my painting style now. Gaming meets collage in a world of hyper-consumerism with echoes of a kind of distorted futuristic urban landscape, all told by a digital painter.

I grew up in Bathgate at the foothills of the mysterious Bathgate Hills and then later in Edinburgh. Scotland is a land of stories, mystery and intrigue. We are a nation of artists, poets and storytellers. Some of my favourite Scottish painters are an influence on my digital paintings, such as Cadell, the Scottish Colourist. Below is one of his famous portraits, “Portrait of a Lady in Black”. I admire the melancholy and sadness that he has portrayed and tried to portray a little of that in my work below, “Unrequited Love”.

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Anna Louise Simpson
Unrequited Love

My work is also an exploration of dystopic urban environments and the people that inhabit them. I think landscape is a part of us. We are never really separate from the land that we inhabit and I wanted to show that in the work below, “Siberian Noise”


I use many different digital tools, to layer up the pixels. My style is digital collage meets pixelated painting. I like to pepper my artworks with text and also sometimes add short stories to my paintings.


Ultimately, I see every artwork as a digital story and like to take my collectors on a journey.

I also like to have several different collections on the go at one time, the reason for that being that it really depends on my mood. One day, I will feel like really getting into a detailed digital painting, like this one – “FORGOTTEN VEGAS”


Another day, I will want to explore a more graphic style digital collage, like one of my “Old Money Corrupts” series – see the artwork below: OLD MONEY CORRUPTS VI


I layer my work with power and fragility; tales of passion and desire are exposed. At times, these stories are gentle whispers, at other times, they are loud and brash graffiti. Fragmented portraits hidden in urban landscapes reveal an honesty and broken reality; a mixed up version of the popular culture that submerges us all.

“Exploring the rips of popular culture and society’s vulnerability, Anna Louise produces images of dystopic fragility…’a keeper of fragile things’”.