Gordon Dean Griffiths was born at King's Daughters Hospital in Duncan, British Columbia, on August 12, 1967. He grew up in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island with his parents, Valri and Gordon, one brother and two sisters. Even with a full, happy house, Dean would often find a quiet place to play with his Lego and later, read comic books. His mother admits that when Dean was a toddler, he wouldn't eat his meals until she read him a story.
During his elementary school years Dean was more interested in drama than drawing. That all changed when, at the age of 12, he bought a copy of Ironman # 135. Halfway through the comic book, he knew that he wanted to be a comic book artist. For the next few years Dean spent every spare minute drawing, creating his own comics and filling them with his own characters. He credits the book "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" by Stan Lee and John Buscema as his main instruction in life drawing during this time.
Dean struggled in school and even failed art in grade ten. Thankfully, during his last two years of high school Dean found a mentor in his principal, Jerry Brewer. Mr. Brewer was an accomplished artist himself, and he encouraged Dean to keep drawing.
In 1986 Dean moved to Vancouver where he worked for a computer graphics company for two years before finding himself back on Vancouver Island. In 1995 Dean dropped off some samples of his work at Orca Book Publishers in Victoria. He was immediately called back and soon after signed on to illustrate his first children's book, The Patchwork House, written by Sally Fitz-Gibbon. He has been happily illustrating children's books ever since.