DROOL: When do you feel you first found success in the world of art, and how have you grown since then?
Stephen Morrison: Oh I’m still waiting for that feeling! (Ha!) But really, it was actually at the start of New York’s covid lockdown that I began selling enough work to scrape by working full time as an artist, and at that point I felt like I had arrived at some version of success. Since then I’ve learned a lot about managing my art practice more like a business than just a passion project, and that has actually allowed me to be much more productive.

DROOL: How did you discover your voice in art?
Stephen: I had made lots of different types of art before making dogs exclusively. Two years ago I was in a bit of a rut and made a painting of my family dog for my mother’s Christmas present. I then started making more dog paintings as commissions, and soon dogs were the only thing I was making. So it kind of snuck up on me! I had always thought the subject of my art had to be something serious so it was very liberating when I allowed myself to work with something I really loved instead.
DROOL: What compels you to keep driving forward as an artist? How do you aspire to grow as an artist this year?
Stephen: I’m having my first solo show in New York this fall so that has been a huge driving factor behind my productivity. I am making a bunch of life sized humanoid dogs which is totally new for me, and it’s been challenging and really rewarding. I try to switch up my process often to keep growing in that way— whether it’s changing the way I represent dogs, the material, the size, etc.
DROOL: What about dogs attracts you to them as subjects for your artwork? Stephen: I really relate to dogs. In fact, all the dogs in my work are actually self portraits. I truly feel connected to them and love to represent my insecurities, desires, or dreams as though I’m this kind of dog creature. It brings me a lot of pleasure.

"I really relate to dogs. I truly feel connected to them and love to represent my insecurities, desires, or dreams as though I’m this kind of dog creature. "

DROOL: Which do you prefer: dogs or people, and why?
Stephen: I was about to say dogs, but I’ve never had to take a person out to pee in freezing January weather, so I’m going to have to say it’s a tie.
DROOL: If you had to choose one dog breed to characterize who you are, what breed would it be and why?
Stephen: Pitbulls— I love to cuddle and nuzzle and all that and they are the most affectionate breed I’ve met!
Give Stephen a follow @dogsihavepainted


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