On the Cover

On the Cover: Owl Eyes by Phil Lewis

By Polly Plummer Mottonen

Phil Lewis channels a deep connection to natural wonder—awesome wildlife, epic mountains, and vast landscapes—into vibrant art and inspired goods.

As a visual artist, Phil digitally transforms humble pencil drawings into vividly realized visions of rich color, extreme detail, and flowing movement.

He started by selling these kaleidoscopic renderings of animals and scenery at live events, and saw how by applying his signature style, he could also turn ordinary festival-going essentials into useable art objects—and fans loved them. This made him realize he could rethink all sorts of everyday items as functional art pieces that spark joy and connect us to nature wherever we are.

Now, he’s expanded the possibilities even further with advanced materials and techniques that allow Phil to apply luminous designs to innovative mediums, so we can share in the collective vibration that connects to the universe and each other in new ways.

“Throughout my life, I’ve always felt a special connection to nature. Being outside inspires me to create art detailing the world around me. Living in Colorado fuels this inspiration for me daily, and the landscapes that surround me appear frequently in my art. Lately I’ve been developing a style of artwork that combines pen drawings and digital design. While I have always appreciated the raw nature of pen and ink, I’m also intrigued by the endless possibilities of the digital canvas. By combining the two, I aim to create images that feel both organic, and state of the art, at the same time. You’ve likely seen my work throughout the Mountain West (as a previous CATAYST cover artist) as well as a number of music festivals and jam band shows, including but not limited to Electric Forest, Wakarusa, High Sierra Music Festival, Phases of the Moon, String Cheese Incident, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, EOTO, etc. I’m grateful for the ability to create this art, and through it, I hope to bring as much positive energy into the world as possible.”

Catalyst’s art director became inspired by Phil’s work after meeting him at the Telluride Blue Grass Festival in 2012. This is Phil’s 3rd CATALYST cover.

Shop a gorgeous array of artwares at phillewisart.com

IG & FB: @phillewisart

Watch Phil’s thoughts on  Finding Flow:

This article was originally published on September 3, 2020.