Steve McElroy — ARTIST


Steve McElroy

Interview with artist Steve McElroy —


Steve-McElroy-IMAGE-11. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Steve McElroy and I am an artist. My primary mediums are oil on canvas and India ink and pencil on handmade paper. I started creating art later in life as a way to fulfill my own dreams and to bring a positive message to others. Common themes in my art are nature, music and a celebration of the positive aspects of the human experience and adventure. I decided that life is not short, it is full and wonderful if you choose for it to be….so my art speaks to this message.


Steve-McElroy-IMAGE-32. Why art?
To me art is the true time traveler. People and buildings and things come and go, but art carries forward from generation to generation. I love that continuity, that permanence. I also find the daily detail of it peaceful and thrilling at the same time. I never repeat a work, because to me the thrill comes from wondering how the one at hand will turn out. I felt that way when I first started, and it still brings me the same joy today. That was over 3,000 works ago, and I hope it shows to the viewer. I’m fortunate to now be in collections in most countries of the world.

3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I always loved art, but never created a single work until 1996 at age 37. I was in business with Ross Perot for many years…a wonderful man! He instilled in me a belief that I could do anything, so I decided I wanted to do something that was a permanent medium for my thoughts and ideas. So I chose art….it did not choose me. I just started creating one day and never looked back.




4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
I enjoy contemporary forms, nature, music, sculptural elements, extremely fine materials and hopefully timeless choices in my art. Oil, pencil, ink, watercolor….I use them all! I try to prove with each work something different and innovative, both in title/content and technique.




5. How do you work and approach your subject?
I find inspiration in everyday life, from culture, from my own daily experiences. I like to uplift the viewer for that moment in time. I work on one artwork at a time until finished, never do I divert my creative energy until that one at hand is done. I only send positive messages, never negative. Art has become my own virtual happy manmade world that I created for myself and others. No work is ever alike, but you still somehow know it’s me. I like that identity that one can leave behind that can never be taken away. Hopefully the messages live on through the work?!




6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
I have traveled and studied art widely! My favorite place is any museum large or small. Pablo Picasso, GustavKlimt, Vincent Van Gogh, Henry Moore, Edvard Munch….all genius talents who will always inspire. My favorite painting on earth is Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer” which hangs in the Estée Lauder family Neue Galerie in New York. Stunning!

7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
A very young son of my niece said to me “when I grow up I want to be an artist like you.”…..very special! Also a young talented musician on my Instagram account recently wrote “your art is dope!” Ha. I took that as a message that we can all stay relevant at any age. I’m 59.




8. What do you like about your work?
I like it that I’ve always stayed true to my message, that I’ve never repeated a work. Rare keeps things  collectible and special. I’m also very proud that I never compromised on quality, or just did something for money alone. My soul is in every work, and I plan to keep it that way. I hope that I always keep hoping that my next work is my best work. I feel a strong desire and need for them to get better and better, instead of just coasting.




9. What advice would you give to other artists?
The best advice are the basics…stick to your true joys, don’t think about the competition, compete only with yourself, be open to opportunities and embrace them with zeal! Never compromise on quality, and quit relying on the illusion of luck. A great object created with craft and heart and soul will always be desirable. If you love doing it, it will show and it will sell!




10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Mattel has commissioned me in the past to create images of the number one toy in the world….Barbie! The toy is a true cultural icon, and they also hired me 20 years ago for Barbie’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. Commercial? Yes. But it’s one of those opportunities I mentioned above and I embraced it because they put my work out worldwide with Andy Warhol’s Barbie! A thrill! So it worked for me, and here I go again for the 60th!


Barbie’s 60th Anniversary Celebration

Barbie’s 60th Anniversary Celebration


But I am also fortunate to be selling fine art contemporary work to some of the best interior designers in the world. However, I will create a work with the same passion for $1,000 as I will for much more, so I enjoy collectors rich and poor and from all walks of life. If I can tell you enjoy and love it half as much as I did while creating it, I’m going to make it happen. Money doesn’t necessarily motivate me….people and their responses are my true joy. I hope my message to others is to always remember to keep your childlike imagination intact as your greatest asset!





Steve McElroy





Instagram: @stevemcelroyart