We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven Van and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven, what do you attribute your success to?
Authenticity all the way! Being appreciative in my ability to learn, adapt, and think, independently and creatively. In a world with so many possibilities and more freedom than ever, there’s also a lot to sort through! Style and originality prevails always.. We see this commonly demonstrated in nature. There’s not one leaf on a tree that’s similar to the next leaf. Understanding and harnessing that concept of individuality and then going against the grain of mediocrity requires great balance. It’s our purpose to be different! But yea lots of practice for many years. I feel like an olympic athlete sometimes but a day well spent brings great sleep right! Balance in everything. Practicing daily authenticity in all my activities though, I’ve been able to channel that essence and incorporate it visually into my artwork making a powerful emotional connection, raising awareness and communicating on a deeper level with people.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My love for art and music started at a very young age. Playing music really opened me up and played a significant role in my art especially in high school. Playing guitar in a band taught me a lot about style, frequency, collaboration and energy. For me, performing on stage parallels the same performance I do when I’m creating artwork it’s just documented with paint. Music was fun but my interests grew more towards having a career in art though so after high school I tried the art college thing for a year. It was great but I needed more. After dropping out I landed a payed apprenticeship and studied under a renowned muralist traveling around painting for many years. I honed a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge from copying the masters. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle to I learned that I wouldn’t have learned in art college like conducting business with clients or executing impossible deadlines, swinging back and forth on a scaffold few stories high with limited amounts of sleep is scary! Disciplined me tons. It was production. Get in and get out. I was a working artist not just an artist. Later, I transitioned into fine art exhibiting in galleries, museums and private collections. The lessons never stop. Always learning, there’s so much to learn about. The thing that excites me the most about my art is not only how much joy it’s given me but seeing how much it’s connected other people together. Witnessing all their love and joy. The immediate responses and conversations bringing people together. The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind happiness and love.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend visited me right now during this COVID-19 pandemic I would take his ass to get vaccinated at Disneyland! Rest of the days I would DoorDash in food and booze. Play loud music or jam sesh it on guitar. I’m on two acres of land with a lake in the suburbs of Atlanta. We could bonfire and blow smoke signals to the other natives. A trip sounds nice if you don’t mind catching COVID-19 and having permanent lung damage for the rest of your life! If everyone stayed in for 2 weeks it’d be over with. But it’s now been dragging out for two years. I don’t understand it I really don’t lol. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to everyone that has inspired me since day 1. My beautiful family, friends, and everyone that has supported my art!