Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Native Vermont Studio - AKA Ryan Fowler

Is it weird that I get extra excited when I get to write about boys? Maybe it's because Etsy is such a lady-land.... I crave contrast! 

Anyway, today's artist, Ryan Fowler is just pretty darn awesome. His work has an understated and whimsical vintage sensibility that is just utterly charming. If you are an animal lover, you will totally love the way he captures the sweetness of animals without being cutesy about it. I personally love that I can just as easily envision his work in a hunting lodge as in a toddler's bedroom. That's not an easy blend to pull off.
Featured Artist:
Name: Ryan Fowler
Business Name: Native Vermont Studio

The Basics:
I'm an illustrator and photographer. My work is inspired by the view out the window in Salisbury, Vermont, walks in the forest, or long days sitting on the dock at the lake.

Though many of my pieces are Vermont related, I also create a wide range of other graphic pieces using both drawn images and photographs. Many of my pieces can be customized and I create commissioned pieces when my schedule allows. Thanks for visiting my site!

1.  What five words best describe you? 
Frenetic, Optimistic, Adventurous, Obsessive, Risk-taker.

2.  What five words best describe your work? 
Personal, Graphic, Whimsical, Contemporary, Heartwarming.

3.  What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
When I was young I drew quite a bit. Drawing is the basis of my work.  As an adolescent I took up photography and pursued it through graduate school. I received my MFA in photography from Rhode Island School of Design. I teach photography and still make photographs, but I started NVS last year by returning to drawing.

4.   What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
Growing up, I had a landscaping business and greeting card business with my twin brother, so my first “real” job was when I began teaching 5 years ago. I always enjoyed working for myself, so I can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad job.

5.   Is artwork your full-time life?
Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative? I teach in the visual arts, so between my teaching job and making my own artwork, being creative is full-time. More than full-time!

6.   What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Be patient and persistent.  Things started off slow for me, and then they took off. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll reap instant rewards, and if you start to earn some money, then it’s just icing on the cake.

7.   What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I have my work on Etsy and in galleries and stores across the country. I really enjoy the interaction I get to have with customers on Etsy through Convos and feedback.

8.   What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?  
American Suburb X, Twitter, Etsy, NY Times Lens Blog,,

9.   Favorite artist? 
Andrew Wyeth

10.  Guilty pleasure? 
Play golf. Poorly.

~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Ryan has generously offered one winner: 
A special gift of this amazing customized 12x12 Dog Canoe Co. giclee print. The winner can choose between a black, yellow, or brown dog, and customize the name and location. 

- Go to Ryan's Etsy shop. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in a comment below!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.


Jay Dub said... This lumberjack is my favorite, although I like SO many of them.

Favorite because I actually look a fair bit like this fellow, and the way he's drawn, have a similar personality.

My beard is a little more red than black, but I have the determined, hard to rattle composure of this lumberjack.

Also being newly married (but out of the honeymoon stage!) -- the bird on this gentleman's head... well... I'll let you figure out how that's related. ;)

Donna said...

I love the LOVE BIRDS I'll share my heart with you Black Crows GRAPHIC ART illustration GICLEE PRINT 15x7.5 inches SIGNED

I would love to win the brown dog -even though I have a red dog (brown would match the best)


Donna said...

I follow your blog


Donna said...

I'm a facebook fan.

Donna Hufman Warrington

Wehaf said...

I won a previous giveaway on your blog recently, so I'm not sure I'm eligible; I feel like a greedy guts. But my favorite piece is the black dog ski company print; the dog looks so much like my dog, and I could see her in that situation:

Looking downhill, Maggie suddenly realized the black diamonds were not merely decorative...

mamipdx said...

his artwork reminds me so much of my own homeplace- the pacific northwest. i hearted his shop immediately because even if i am not the lucky winner i will return to his art for a second look. one of my favorites is the two crows with leaves. our urban setting is absolutely crowded with crows at the moment. and come fall, they start throwing walnuts to the concrete below to break open the hard shells- they perch above on the power lines. crows are smart and resourceful. i like his crow piece because it reminds me that animals have relationships, too. they care for their young, forage for food, and develop affections for each other. and i simply like crows.

mamipdx said...

i follow you.

mamipdx said...

i liked you on facebook (wren nelson)

arceli said...

My favorite item is the 12x24 Made to Order Typography Collage, because the possibilities of what I can put on it are virtually endless. I could put my personal motto, or the names of the people who mean the most to me, or anything else that occurs to me.


Kristen said...

My favorite is the Lake Dunmore print because it reminds me of vacations spent at the lake when I was a kid. There is nothing like seeing the moonlight on the still, dark water. That print just draws my eyes in and holds them there mesmerized!

couponboss at gmail dot com

erin, maker of chimes said...

That's my fav and it's b/c at first glance it's one of those pieces of art that someone would take a glance at and walk on, but as their mind registered some of the things that they just read... they'd back track to it and continue to read. I also bet that it's one that you'd read over and over again, even if it was in your house and you knew exactly what it said. Love it!

Jay Dub said...

I didn't follow the instructions smartly enough -- reposting entry, with contest rules followed: This lumberjack is my favorite, although I like SO many of them.

Favorite because I actually look a fair bit like this fellow, and the way he's drawn, have a similar personality.

My beard is a little more red than black, but I have the determined, hard to rattle composure of this lumberjack.

Also being newly married (but out of the honeymoon stage!) -- the bird on this gentleman's head... well... I'll let you figure out how that's related. ;)

my etsy name is jayw

I am subscribing to your blog through the rss!! and following you in facebook.


Polkaostrich said...

I love the skiing dog wearing a scarf! I always tell my dog she would be a good skijourner, since she is a pulling pitbull, but maybe she'd like to ski even more! She IS a native Minnesotan....

carla said...

My favorite is the lumberjack on canvas! I love it!!!

It reminds me of when my husband would tour with his band. None of them would shave the whole time they were away and would come back looking like this lumberjack.

@ByHandGiveaways said...

I love
Winter Fox - A Chill Is In The Air GRAPHIC ART ILLUSTRATION on Canvas 12x12x1.5 inches SIGNED

the style makes me feel like im in a cabin

duhnellecarter [at] yahoo . com
--Get this giveaway free exposure here!

Kasie said...

I love the dog with the dragonfly prints. It really reminds me of my dogs who love summer because they can chase the bugs. We were once at a lake and my dog jumped in the water off a dock chasing a dragonfly. I was scared at first, but he swam back to shore and did it again!

misscaseylee said...

I absolutely love your work! My favorite is the TWO HOOTS Forest Woodland Owl GRAPHIC ART COLLAGE on Canvas . I would love to get this for my bestfriend. She is a huge owl collector. Her dad past away ten years ago and there was an owl at the cemetary for the the funeral. Since then, everywhere she goes she sees owls, they just seem to hang around her. There's one particular owl that she sees a few times a week outside of her house. She says that it's her dad watching over her and I truly believe that. I think it's an amazing story and I know that she would love this print! :)


misscaseylee said...

i'm a new GFC follower :)


misscaseylee said...

i also follow on Facebook as: Casey Lee Flick :)


pumpkinlady430 said...

The print LAKE DUNMORE Moonlight takes me away...
to a favorite sight, moonlit and clear....
Makes me wonder how many eyes have gazed upon the moon,
How many ears have heard the crickets,
How many of us have felt the cool air,
With so much in common, when we see this quiet pier...

and other art by this artist, as great to hug a dog, and the owls to hear!!

Michelle said...

My personal favorite is the "Constellations Polar Bear". I absolutely just love it.

I love it because the polar bear is adrift at sea, all by himself, and looking up, he sees the stars. He sees hope.

I like that. I like hope.

luckyblue13 [at] gmail [.] com

siilenti said...

I really love the polar bear one. It's so gorgeous and charming! I love the way it looks so calm and hopeful. Plus I absolutely adore stars. I really just think it captures the artist's style so perfect!

Id really love to win this giveaway for my best friend who has been my rock this year :)

thisiswhatavegetarianeats said...

I love the Lumberjack and Crow Woodland Print. Why? It reminds me a lot of Edgar Allen Poe and, being a great lover of literature, anything that seems literary to me really pulls me in. I also just adore his ruddy cheeks!


thisiswhatavegetarianeats said...

I follow your blog AND I just became a fan on Facebook.


illana Burk said...

Thanks all! comments are now closed:)

Amg-Arts said...

Great interview!