The project that Stephen Gardner, MFA ’11, started in his first semester at FIT keeps giving. Stephen, our lovable bloke from the England, and now a US citizen, started drawing in bars around NY for his sketchbook assignment. On to painting those drawings, then, mugs, calendars, a stream of interviews, awards, blogs, all about the landmark bars of NY. And now, a lecture at the Society of Illustrators in New York to celebrate the landmarks of New York. This should be great! Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Click here for the info.
What began as an assignment to draw on location has turned into a life’s work for MFA alum Stephen Gardner. Though hanging about bars was seemingly nothing new for Stephen when he first arrived to FIT, the idea of drawing bars was born out of one of his first assignments in grad school- and he has not stopped drawing since! Stephen has turned his drawings into paintings, his paintings into calendars, and now, this whole body of work recognized in the New York Times Magazine section. Stephen’s work can be found here. Go, Stephen, Go!
Stephen Gardner had long adopted NYC as his home from across the pond when he found us in 2005. Already an accomplished illustrator, Stephen joined the MA program in 2005 for its inaugural class and immediately combined two of his favorite pastimes- drawing and well, as an Englishman, hanging out in bars. His journey has been an exciting one- going on to complete his MFA at FIT, and now, he has launched his own line of products at Zazzle! Congratulations, Steve! We are so happy to see you so happy and so fulfilled- in so many ways! So, buy up, everyone and raise one of Steve’s mugs! Here is Steve’s story, in his own words:
“Some you you might know that I have been working on a series of bar paintings and drawings since 2005. It all began with keeping a sketchbook for Melanie’s class and snowballed from there, throughout the MA and then, the MFA,I have kept this theme going and growing. In many ways I still feel like II’m working on my capstone project two years after graduation, indeed that what the capstone project is for.
I have to credit my wife Angie for setting up Zazzle store for me. It grew out of Angie wanting to put my images on mugs and a calendar is a birthday girt for me (50, wow!). She posted a photo of the mugs of Facebook and we immediately started to get orders! We then set a the Zazzle store and people have started to orders mugs, cards and calendars. For me, it has been a shot in the arm-I’ve been working on these images in isolation and being able to put them out there in tangible form feel great. We are now in the throws of putting together a “Kickstarter” campaign that should launch in the early part of next year, so stay tuned!
This whole experience and direction are a direct result of my studies at FIT, quite simply, the best gift I ever gave myself.”
Stephen may have graduated, but is never far from FIT. Not only is he a frequent guest speaker to our MFA classes, but he now teaches in the undergraduate Illustration department-your gift to us!
Check out Stephen’s store here!