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Nationally acclaimed illustrator pursues teaching as passion

Fellows teaches the value of being still and observing during his art workshop
Stan Fellows works on an illustration in his Longmont home

Stan Fellows knew as a young child that he could draw well as a young child. With the support of his parents, he quickly learned that illustration was going to be his career. After years of working in the industry, Fellows is ready to pursue a new passion, teaching.

Fellows attended two different art schools after graduating high school and quickly found a job at an art studio. There he learned the ins and outs of business and found a community of like-minded people.

“At a studio everyone wants to see you win because you are part of the portfolio,” Fellows said. 

While working in the studio, Fellows worked with several seasoned illustrators that helped him hone his craft and notice the tiny details such as overcrowding a headline. He also learned the value of constructive critique.

“It was a magical start,” he said. 

Within a few years, Fellows hired an agent and began working with national clients such as National Geographic, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living and Sports Illustrated. 

“There is not a magazine that you can name that I have not worked for,” Fellows said. 

When the internet came around, Fellows found less work. It became easier for clients to find stock photos that were less costly than commissioning an illustration. 

With a lack of steady jobs, Fellows focused a majority of his time raising his daughter while selling paintings and finding odd jobs to get by financially. 

A few years ago, his daughter, who is also an artist, became a tattoo apprentice. Her apprenticeship inspired Fellows to explore that career as well. He visited Sharky’s Paradise tattoo shop located at 233 Main St. in Longmont and asked to begin an apprenticeship a year ago.

“What is interesting to me is that a couple of months ago I realized that tattoo is just illustration, it’s identical,” he said. 

Fellows finds the stability of tattoo artistry and the pay to be enough to sustain his needs so he can pursue his true passion, teaching.

Fellows created an art workshop many years ago as a way to supplement his income. He studied the industry to build a class that was different from the rest. While his workshop includes art and drawing, it is not the focus. 

The workshop accepts veteran artists and beginners in the same class. The class teaches people how to slow down and notice the small things. Fellows’ easy-going spirit creates a judgment free class with a zen-like quality.

“What it is largely about is the value of being still and observing,” he said. 

Fellows hopes to bring his workshop to Longmont soon. He is currently working with different groups to find a space and support. 

Although there will be a small fee for the workshop, Fellows is not doing it to make money. He has his tattoo business for that, he said. He is looking to connect with people and to find others who enjoy the relaxation that art can bring into a person’s life, no matter if they can draw a straight line or not.


Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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