CHAPTER 1 - THE DREAM
All I ever wanted to do was be in sports.
Just so ya know, I'm that guy in school you hated because I was good at everything. I made perfect grades, was captain of every team, played three instruments, and excelled at art, but what I really wanted was to be in sports. I won piano competitions, art competitions and mathematics competitions, but that didn't matter because, what I really wanted was to be in sports. As we all know, the dream of being a professional athlete is just that, a dream, for most people, including me.
“All I ever wanted to do was be in sports.”
I decided that the best way for me to get into professional sports was through broadcasting. My parents were so proud that I had been accepted to all the top schools in Canada and that I could do whatever I wanted. They were not so excited however, when I decided to enroll in broadcast school at a small technical institute in Calgary. I figured if I could join a broadcast crew, then I could be part of every sporting event on the planet! After I graduated I worked in several TV studios, and was soon working golf tournaments, hockey games and horse races all over Western Canada. I went to many sporting events but I was seeing them through a camera lens or television monitor. Yes, I was working AROUND sports, but not IN sports. This was not yet good enough.
CHAPTER 2 - ALWAYS BE DOODLING
Fast forward several years. I’m now 40 years old and had lost sight of my dream. I’m still pretty good at everything, however the stars had not aligned as I’d hoped. I’d learned and accomplished much at this point, including teaching myself graphic design and art, but I was still not satisfied. Then one day I picked up a doodle that I had sketched on a post-it-note three years earlier, a drawing of ballparks done in “minimalist” style, and thought to myself, “Hmm, I’m bored, why not?
As it turned out, my minimalist ballpark designs were a homerun. The next six months were exhilarating! I quickly built an e-commerce website and answered press calls and filled orders like a mad man. I had gone viral. Desperate for help, I called an close friend, Ian, who happens to be smarter than me, and begged him for help. While Ian had no artistic or graphic design talents, he had all the business acumen that I needed.
“My minimalist ballpark designs were a homerun.”
graphic design talents, he had all the business acumen that I needed. With his left brain and my right brain, we got busy creating my brand,… S. Preston Art + Designs.
CHAPTER 3 - THE ANGELS ARE SINGING
I am finally in professional sports. I talk to sports fans, sports writers, and professional athletes every day. I spend my days traveling from ballparks to stadiums, attending games, events, and festivals. My heroes introduce themselves to me and they tell me how much my art means to them. In 2016, my artwork was included in the permanent archives in Cooperstown, N.Y. and I've been issued a lifetime membership to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Most importantly, I’m using all the talents that I’ve been blessed with and I am using them to do the things I love. #Wow
CHAPTER 4 - THE PRESS
I like to let my artwork speak for itself. I love to see and hear the reactions that my artwork elicits. My artwork makes people smile. I often hear comments such as, "Very cool!" or "So unique!". I am lucky to have many fans who advertise my art by word of mouth. In some cases, those fans work in some prestigious media outlets.
“My artwork makes people smile.”
Me and my artwork have been featured on Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Bleacher Reports, FanSided, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly and Yahoo! Sports. You can also read about me in the New York Daily News, Minnesota Star Tribune, Kansas City Star, Tampa Bay Times, and Orange County Register. I was a featured artist at several MLB All-Star Games. My minimalist ballpark art is displayed in many ballparks across the country, in several art galleries, and scattered throughout the offices of Major League Baseball executives and corporate leaders. And I recently opened my own sports art gallery in Anaheim, California.
CHAPTER 5 - THE ARTIST AND THE ART
"The goal of my minimalist art is to create an instantly identifiable subject using the fewest elements, basic shapes, and color palette.” - S. Preston
My focus is to change the way sports and art collide using simplicity and clean design. The plan is very simple - create artwork that connects sports fans to their deepest passion for the game. If you are a baseball fan, my minimalist artwork should grab you almost immediately. It might trigger a nostalgic feeling with memories of attending your first professional baseball game as a kid, or of taking your kid to his or her first game.
“Create artwork that augments and connects sports fans to their deepest love for the game”
CHAPTER 6 - THE BUSINESS
Ian and I are sports fans first and foremost. We wear many hats; artist, designer, printer, marketeer, logistician, accountant, etc., but we are sports fans first. My art is highly collectable and most of my pieces are issued as limited edition prints. However, we also want my art to be affordable to all fans, so we offer products at all price points including our smaller posters and postcards.
“...we are sports fans first and foremost.”
I am a strong believer in giving back to the community, and as such, I make it a practice to make donations with my art.
APPENDIX - THE EXTRA INNINGS
- I've never been to art school. Everything I create is self-taught.
- My avatar is from the greatest TV series ever! If you like baseball and cartoons (especially anime) I recommend watching Major. It's six seasons long but an amazing story.
- I see myself as an athlete before an artist. I'm on the ice 2-3 times a week playing hockey, I run almost every morning, and I'm good at most sports. The back of my car often full of sports gear (which really needs to get washed once and a while).
- I'm competitive about everything, even in McDonalds lineups.
- Even though I've never played an inning of organized baseball, I taught myself to switch hit when I was 12.
- I'm single, but that's mostly because I pour my heart and soul into my art and baseball. One day, when I'm ready, I'll find a battery-mate who can catch with my fastballs for the rest of my life. She's out there somewhere.