Stephen Harlan has established his own unique style of digital artwork in a world moving quickly into the future.
"I started painting in the early ’80s, yes, 40+ years ago. We had just moved to Los Angeles for a new career opportunity for my wife, Martha.
"Before our move west, I had been performing and writing music with a band for many years. I sang lead and harmony vocals, played rhythm and lead guitar, and spent time writing and recording original songs. After many years, the band members all started to go their separate ways."
"When we moved, I was given an opportunity in Burbank, CA to create art on a brand-new digital system. Back then, it was a huge system and not as advanced as what we have available today. At first, it was a lot of corporate work, but then I was able to paint more illustrations digitally. I found I could push digital design past what the manufacturer of the system felt was possible. So, I dedicated hours and hours of self-learning to see just how far I could take painting original work digitally. This led to magazine cover design, and custom illustrations and allowed me to expand my love of color."
"It’s color, reflections, and extreme saturations I love. I see them everywhere. I wanted to push my painting and color to an exaggerated feel, one that would draw my collectors into my original paintings. None of the places are real, just places and things I imagine. Its lucid color, even neon at times – it has provided me with energy and intrigue."
"I was fortunate that my wife was supportive and understood this love for creating and so I just invested years and years into perfecting my painting. Often, I would paint well into the night. I never quite fit into the corporate world. I just wanted to live my life doing what I love. No rules, no boundaries."
"Color, drastic reflections, and long shadows are everywhere, you just need to take time to focus on their beauty. I started painting as a way to express myself, then I fell in love with art, design, and the ability to bring to life something I was simply imagining."
~ Stephen Harlan
Stephen’s work was recognized by many, and his work adorned the covers of national magazines that ran the gamut from commercial, industrial, and musical amphitheater promotions to trendsetting publications such as AV/Video. During these years, Stephen was commissioned to produce custom images including nautical, southwestern and abstract topics. He was recognized as a leader in digital imagery and placed “Best of Show” in important exhibits in Los Angeles and across Southern California.