Meet Steve Sullivan, an Artist Who Transforms Processing Life Into Art

Steve's Roots

Steve Sullivan is a New Hampshire native living in Dorchester working as an artist, and working towards a career as an EMT. I met Steve about eight years ago at a bar in New Hampshire, and over the years, we have kept in touch. I wanted to feature not only Steve’s artwork but also the journey that he has been on throughout his life. He has built a personal foundation of hard work, perseverance, and forming connections with others through art. Speaking to Steve about his life and art, there is a sense of humbleness, openness, and wearing his heart on his sleeve.  

What allows Steve to stand out as an artist is his ability to use art as a form of processing life experiences and turning them into visual stories. Some pieces are more minimalist than others, but all feature brush strokes with purpose and vibrant color contrast that draws in viewers. That contrast parallels directly into Steve’s personal life. Steve experienced the loss of a loved one and faced addiction in the past. Rather than allowing those experiences to define him, he decided to turn them into mantras for his life and inspiration for art.  

Steve's Unique Edge

What allows Steve to stand out as an artist is his ability to use art as a form of processing life experiences and turning them into visual stories. Some pieces are more minimalist than others, but all feature brush strokes with purpose and vibrant color contrast that draws in viewers. That contrast parallels directly into Steve’s personal life. Steve experienced the loss of a loved one and faced addiction in the past. Rather than allowing those experiences to define him, he decided to turn them into mantras for his life and inspiration for art.  

The Loss of a Loved One

The first hardship Steve faced was seeing his father battle leukemia and passed away at the age of fourteen. Helping to take care of a sick parent and experiencing loss early in life matured Steve sooner than most. It also taught him not to take each breath for granted, making everyday count. His mother encouraged him to focus on the memories, and not the lucrative value of time. Steve didn’t want to wonder “what if” later in life and pursued his passion for art.


 

Steve graduated from Tulane University in 2007 with a degree in studio art and later served in the Peace Corps from 2008 to 2011 as a sustainable agriculture volunteer. Steve moved to Somerville, earning his MFA from MassArt in 2015. then settled in Dorchester. The other struggle that Steve overcame was facing addiction. After realizing he wanted to change his life, Steve sought out treatment. Art became another outlet for Steve to process the path to sobriety and cope with addiction. Steve rose above addiction and will celebrate 18 months of sobriety in May of 2020.

 

What He's Working on Currently

Currently, Steve is working on developing his online art website, BySully.com. There readers can view Steve’s art for sale, learn more about and contact Steve, as well as view past and upcoming gallery showings featuring his artwork. The latest art showing Steven attended was the Clio Art Fair in New York during March 2020. He hopes to use art as a medium to translate what he sees as an EMT emotionally and to process the images.  

How Steve Strives to Meet Client Needs

One of the things I respect most about Steve is his compassion for working with clients. Steve currently sells pieces he has made independently and offers commission work. In the future, he will begin offering prints of past works for those looking for a lower price bracket.  You can tell that Steve respects the visual and emotional stimulation art gives to viewers and wants to allow as many people to immerse themselves as possible by working around their budgets and needs.

Steve's Favorite Pieces

“These paintings (pictured left) are a couple favorites of mine from this past year or so, of what I was referring to as my Progression series. Whenever I worked on a new piece, I would simply label it as a Progression, and the date. I felt like this was appropriate as I viewed this revival of my own artistic practice as an action of continued forward movement after getting sober. These two are early examples from this lengthy series of pieces (many of which have since earned their own unique titles upon completion, but they all started as a Progression). For me, they demonstrate the uncertainty and excitement that surrounded beginning this new work, after having felt so detached from my art practice for so long.”

Steve Sullivan

Where to Contact Steve

To see more about Steve and his artwork, you can visit http://BySully.com, or view his Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/steven.sully.sullivan/. For further inquiries, you may contact Steve at his website, through Instagram, or via email at [email protected].

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