HOUSTON LLEW - SPIRITILES

 

Biography

 

 

Houston Llew is a man of deep southern roots, so it's only natural he'd plant his studio in the vibrant city of Atlanta.  A graduate of Auburn University, he dabbled with careers in the corporate world before finding his calling...abstracting the levity of life in art.

Through strange and fated opportunity, Houston met Zingaro, who mentored Houston in enameling techniques. Through their collaboration, combining the medium with the best industrial design they could find and Houston’s love to explain things by quoting famous authors, Spiritiles were brought to life. When describing how a person becomes an artist Houston says, “Bad art is copied, good art is stolen. Jean-Luc Godard wisely pointed out ‘It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.’ So steal the best parts of things you love and take them somewhere new!”

It is not a simple task to branch out from an established medium and create something new. Late night hours, artist wages, and ramen noodles join the blood, sweat, and tears of growing a new art concept from a classic medium. But all of the hard work and long hours can pay off when combined with a vision for telling stories in enameled wall art. Houston Llew started his venture inside a hot garage in Atlanta in the summer of 2008- at the depths of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

A combined vision for art and an eternal optimism turned a dreary economic situation into an opportunity as Spiritiles deliver a beautifully handmade art product to a market looking for affordable pieces to show their fine art collectors. Today, Houston no longer makes Spiritiles out of a garage -“Llewtopia,” as he calls it, is an expanding art studio near downtown Atlanta employing ten full-time artists and artisans as of October 2013.

Each Spiritile is carefully handmade using a series of intricate stencil techniques. From the beginning, Houston’s vision for his enameled artworks drew from the beauty of simplicity. He sought after an imagistic theme for his work rather than pursuing the abstract often seen in other enameled wall art. The image is just the beginning - each piece is paired with a quote sgraffitoed around the sides to create an inspiring story through words and images in glass.