Artist Spotlight: Stephen Egts

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Stephen Egts has brought his first ever coloring book, Babesville, to Pigment. Take a minute to learn what inspires Stephen to create.

Stephen is an artist based in Washington, D.C.. When he’s not working at his day job, Stephen can be found doodling and creating art in his favorite coffee shops around town. He enjoys films from the late 60s/early 70s and is always game for anything campy.

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Creating has always been a part of my vocabulary. My parents were supportive of my artistic endeavors and encouraged me to take classes outside of school. Their ongoing support helped solidify my love of art and making. I can’t thank them enough!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
When I was a kid, I used to spend hours making little people out of fabric, glue and wooden clothes hangers. My mother used to get mad because she always seemed to have a shortage of hangers when laundry day came around. I wish I still had the shoe box I filled with different wooden characters.

The coloring book is a close second. Out of all the years I’ve been a professional artist, the coloring book is the first thing I ever made for myself. Completing the book was a great personal accomplishment, but the unexpected reward has been seeing people color in my sketches. The collaborative nature of the coloring community is exciting and inspires me to make more coloring pages.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
Art is a reflection of culture and the world around us. In this Contemporary Era for art, no one speaks of movements any longer. Art has become an expression of the individual instead of the collective. There is something to be said about sharing ideas with others. Take a class or find other people in your area interested in making art and meet up. Your vision will grow faster as an artist when you learn from the perspectives of others. It’s easier to grow learning from the strengths of others than to learn alone in a vacuum.

Are there other coloring book artists or illustrators that inspire you?
I’m a big fan of Art Nouveau and Aubrey Beardsley. Art from the Victorian and Edwardian eras reflect a visual mash-up of eastern and western cultures that I love. I’m also fascinating with the animation/illustration work of WIlliam Kentridge. His obsessive quality of creating animations from adding and erasing a single charcoal drawing is hypnotic to watch.

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