ARTIST STATEMENT

I’ve always been an artist. I used to get up to draw the cartoons instead of watch them. I went on to get a degree in Commercial Art and was even a professional cartoonist for a magazine in New York.

Over time I veered more into graphic design web design and video production, rather that “straight art”. I did however continue my cartoons and have had Enlightoons for 17 years.

2018 was not a good year for me, to put it lightly. I did a lot of soul searching and asked myself “what can I do to get out of THIS (situation)?” and so I turned back to my art.

One day, on a spiritual walk up the Santa- Monica Mountains, I had symbolic tokens to say goodbye to everything I had lost (e.g. My kitty’s collar from my cat who passed from cancer just months before). When it came time to say goodbye to “Me” I actually put a drop of blood onto a heart shaped pencil sharpener and tossed it into the valley.

I got to this steep incline that lead to the top of the mountain and asked myself, “What’s it gonna be? You going to stop now, or take that hill?

I took the hill.

After a taking in a stunning 360 degree view, I went back down to sit under a tree so I could have lunch and draw.

When I took out my pencil I noticed that it was dull. I thought to myself, “if only I had a pencil sharpener” 😊

It was then that I picked up a ballpoint pen. “No excuses” I told myself. “If you have a pen and paper, you have art”… “if you make a mistake, there’s no turning back. You deal with what you get… just like Life”

So I drew that hill, had lunch, then went home.

Soon after I started to “draw anything” … until one day I decided to draw a wolf. I loved all the fur… and it represented how I felt at the time. A lone wolf.

The very next day I drew a mother ape and her baby. It struck me to my core. I was a single dad with a soon-to-be teen boy. I missed the cuddliness of his youth, but loved the feeling of safety that the picture conveyed.

So that became my niche. One parent, one child… wildlife in ballpoint pen.

That alone opened up some crazy doors. In 2019 I was in dozens of art shows, in downtown LA and Beverly Hills. My art was in galleries in Washington State and Laguna Beach. I had another dozen shows lined up for 2020.

And then… well… 2020.

So I've gone virtual in the meantime, with some very exciting prospects in the works.

And lockdown will end... and we'll be able to see one another in person soon.

I look forward to seeing you then.

~ Stu Rosen