My friend is an artist. One day, he took a giant leap, without a safety net, right in the middle of a busy career as a graphic designer. His passion got the better of him, giving new meaning to his life. Oh, he had felt the wave coming. But this time, he gave into it. He welcomed it like one greets a sunny spring day, with eyes closed, head raised, and palms open to the heavens. Since then, he has been exploring lines, curves, textures, colours, gazes, contrasts and superimpositions.
For my friend Steve Young, this was something new. He was not always a full-time artist. Prior to 2012, he had become an expert at ignoring the deafening call of creation. His career was his shield, protecting him from the uncertainty of life as an artist. He kept dismissing the colours living inside his mind. That is, until 1996 when he was invited to a 5-week illustrations project in Japan. He revelled in every moment of this adventure in a country that would, over time, teach him discipline, true colours and … the freedom that comes from turning drawings into works of art.
When he got back home, he pulled out his acrylics and gave life to his first paintings. Steve then chased every minute of free time to soak in sources of inspiration through the abstract and the female form. It was magic. He had found the seam, both abstract and figurative, that would keep feeding his imagination. On a large canvas, he painted an abstract, texturized, colourful, bright background. At times, the background was adorned with gems, metallic inserts, pages from a Latin book, steel sheets or patterned wallpaper. Finally, a woman in high contrast would emerge, her sleek, dark shape, always different, drawing all eyes.
While Steve Young’s brushes danced on the canvas, the artist kept struggling to hold his graphic designer shield in place. Still, the true sailing enthusiast in him stayed the course, never wavering from the combination he had developed: career graphic designer/sometime artist. Then in 2012, he was caught unprepared by a swell of love rushing towards him. Indeed, gallery owners in the Outaouais, Montréal, Quebec City and Charlevoix were blown away by his work. Better yet, clients were buying Youngs. With not a minute to waste, Steve finally took the plunge and allowed his creativity to take over. He was all in, body and soul.
From that day forward, my friend Steve has been painting. He seeks balance and emotion in his paintings, even an element of surprise, wrapped in sheer beauty. A few days ago, he said to me: “There is nothing better in the world to express beauty than a woman”. Easy to take his word for it when you see his collection of works celebrating women. I am such a huge fan that you will find a Young in every room of my house. My friend dared to live from his art. And I am so grateful.
To find out more about the artist, his work and some of his paintings, go to steveyoung-art.com