Born in Colorado Springs, CO, Warren Stokes is a self-taught artist and mazeologist. During his early years he had a love for drawing sports and comics. But frustrated with the look of his people he never took art seriously. A trip to the library changed his life when he discovered the art of architecture, making his goal to become a professional architect and design houses. Unfortunately his first drafting class would be his last as he found out he wasn’t in love with the preciseness and fractions needed in design.
Attending Colorado State University for Technical Communications and Journalism he received a degree in Public Relations with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. During that time he begin to really develop a love for writing and public speaking or storytelling
The beginning of his art side of life was created during a 4 week job training almost seven years before he would complete another art maze. Bored and angry with his job and the professional direction his life was headed in he started doodling on the back of a notebook, day dreaming of what life should be like. Once the space was filled he noticed that each individual drawing was spaced in a way that could be navigated through like a maze. Impressed with the look of the drawings he tried a few more doodles with the goal of creating t-shirt designs.
It wasn’t until 2009 when his youngest son was born that he took his artistic journey serious. During the years between mazes he worked on his skill as a writer penning more than 50 children’s books. One day while looking at his first maze doodle he decided to create a children’s book based upon mazes. It was this project that ignited the artist in him allowing him to discover the more artistic look to each maze. Viewing the beauty and hidden designs within each maze forced him to experiment with depth, angles, dimension, and perception. These early attempts really brought life to the mazes almost completely disguising them inside the work.
My days as an artist started by accident while writing a children’s book. The quest to write a unique children’s book started by creating a story based upon mazes. The book contained 20 mazes and in my attempt to make increasingly more difficult mazes, a more artistic look to the work emerged. Seeing the beauty and hidden designs within each maze mixed with positive feedback from others I began more experimentation drawing mazes adding dimension. These early attempts really brought life to the mazes almost completely disguising them inside the work.My medium of choice is pencil, pens and ink, with the goal to add painting and wood-burning to my skill set. I create on any surface ranging from paper to canvass. A certified dumpster diver I like to use recycled materials from wood to tiles including the framed portion of the presentation.I repeat the theme of the maze in all of my work for two reasons. First, I see the maze as a strong metaphor for life. The maze is beautiful as a whole but is created from several pieces that form a journey. A journey that similar to life is full of obstacles and dead ends but contains a solution. Getting to that solution, that finished piece, inspires me as a entrepreneur, writer, father and coach to continue to take action in my life toward dreaming reality no matter how many dead ends I encounter.The second reason for repeating the maze theme is the quest to create a harder maze with each new piece. The early work was limited to shapes. As my skills increased with depth, angles and perception, I challenged myself to draw more detailed subjects like elephants. Simply put I want to see where I can take it. A virtually untapped style of drawing the maze provides an endless number of possibilities to explore from an artistic standpoint. My long term goal is to develop a style that continues to use the maze with the ability to completely disguise it within the work.
Since 2009, Stokes has created more than 360 pieces of art all mazes, started and finished the maze a day project, sold his art and had his art used in two novels. With the goal of “creating a more difficult maze every time” this artist has the potential to create thousands of pieces of beautifully creative art.
To see the artwork of Warren Stokes, go here