BIG MENTION tracks back to the ’90s. Working in a small print shop, learning my craft. It began as my way to anonymously distribute handmade, small-run limited edition publications, recordings, clothing, graphic design and art. Grounded in graffiti, many of the original publications (where anonymity is ideal), titled BIG MENTION were left in random locations or inserted into bookshelves at the big box stores as surprise gifts for strangers.
Who I am.
I’m Ian Stewart. I’m an artist and designer.
I’m a Kansan. I was born here, raised here and will more than likely die here.
I love Kansas. For better or for worse. It's molded me into who I am. I've lived other places and enjoyed stretching myself geographically, but Kansas is — and always will be — home.
But most important, I’m a husband, and I’m a father.
With my wife Sarah, an artist herself, we create together, inspire each other and push one another. My daughter, Harper, is gentle, bright and all kinds of beautiful. Not to mention one of the most hilarious humans I know. Together, the women in my life make me a better man.
What I do.
I'm a designer but first and foremost, I'm an artist. And how I've preferred to view it is, I make things. I source found objects and bits of nature and forgotten treasures — things you won’t find on the shelves at an art store — to create my art. I make music in a similar fashion, piecing together bits of my life in audio format to create something new. As a designer I've worked with a variety of clients spanning the range between NPR and NIKE.
I hope whatever I make illustrates where my head’s at any given time. Every now and again, I'm lucky enough to share some of the things I’ve made in galleries, at shops, in magazines and on stage.
Every time I’m able to do so is an honor — truly.
At the risk of sounding cliche: I can’t not do it. Art is life. It always has been for me and likely always will. My goal is to not only make art and grow as both an individual and artist but also to forge relationships with like-minded people. It’s important to have a hive, and mine is always growing. I want BIG MENTION to be a way for me to collaborate — with others who are as passionate about what they do as I am about what I do, with non-profit groups that need help with their cause and with businesses that are looking to give their brands a refreshed look.
BIG MENTION has changed a lot over the years. I've worked many jobs in the creative and marketing field. Most recently for a creative agency as an Art Director, but through the years regardless of employment location BIG MENTION has allowed me to create beyond the 9 to 5.
Currently I'm focusing solely on BIG MENTION and hope to explore more creative collaborations in all areas of the business, non-profit, art, film, and music worlds. I pride myself on not simply creating graphic design for a profit, in favor of something that transcends standard template-based design - there are many options available for that sort of service. Hopefully, if an angle is to be had, that would be mine.
But most important: BIG MENTION is ever evolving into something else.
As all good things should.