“I don’t feel the need to wear some different personality to be an artist, nor do I feel the need to fit into what others think an artist is or should be.
I let my work speak for itself and I just BE myself.” -Owen York
Owen York was born in June, 1978 in Libertyville, IL. He was raised in Round Lake Beach, IL — a suburb of Chicago. He has lived mainly between Chicago, IL, Tampa Bay, FL, and Nashville, TN.
As a child, he would paint, draw and write stories. He won Young Author Awards and was in gifted programs. He played the piano, the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. It was in 2nd Grade he decided what to do with his life. In his later Elementary School ages he was introduced to the French Impressionists, which would heavily influence his work. Claude Monet was a favorite, having seen a Monet exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In his teens, he continued his art and writing endeavors, particularly focusing on Fine Art, poetry, essays and Literature. Here his art was additionally influenced by Rock music, science-fiction, film and comic books.
He continued his education at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. This school was chosen for the access to professional working techniques and media, and its many well-known alumni. It is here he honed his craft as a figure and portrait artist, which led to his renown with portraiture and many commissioned works. Though degreed in Illustration, after graduating he quickly switched gears back to Fine Art, as digital design and illustration was not his goal as an artist.
In his 20’s, being interested in writing and directing in film (as one of his favorite filmmakers, Akira Kurosawa, had done — an artist turned filmmaker), he started acting as a launchpad. He earned a respectable resume of indie film, TV, radio and commercial work. He continued as an artist in these years, refining his style and his body of sold works & commissions.
In 2008, he decided to focus strictly on his Fine Art, having traversed many of The Arts. His work from 2008 through modern day has been additionally influenced by pop culture, politics, video games, post-apocalyptic, business, firearms and other subject matter.
He credits his current work and style to the experiences and influences of these times, environments and industries. Preferring water-based media, Owen chiefly works in watercolors and acrylics, with occasional mixed media. He is also the Founder of the Gun Industry Marketplace which he owns and operates with his wife. They reside with their two children in Nashville, TN.