The Artwork of Tim Steller

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Ocean resin table, one of many artistic creations by Tim Stellar and his wife Ashley. Photo courtesy of the artists.

A working artist is a unique type of person. Typically, their work can be found in galleries and museums or other fine art establishments, not in bars and restaurants and man caves. Typically, working artists have agents, who hawk their work to such establishments and pedigrees, dating back to college and graduate school. They have taken classes in formal color theory and composition, they are trained, groomed and educated to be “professionals”. But not Tim Steller.

Tim Steller was a bartender, working in Sarasota, when he hopped on Craigslist to search for wooden pallets in the hopes of making something cool for his son’s bedroom. The result? Ten years later he has a full-time woodworking business, specializing in creating lightbox constructions of coastal inspired designs out of reclaimed wood, backlit with LED lights. In the past couple of years, his wife, Ashley, a veteran of the restaurant business has joined him as well and specializes in ocean resin designs–anything from cutting boards to bar tops to dinner tables is on the menu.

“I have no technical schooling, but I’ve always been interested in art since I was a kid growing up in New York. When I was in high school, I delved into the graphic arts with illustrations and even tattoo design,” says Steller. “What started all of this, back in 2014, was that I was trying to make a wood cutout of a shark for our newborn’s bedroom. I cut the shark out and realized that the relief, the hollow, was so much cooler than just the wood shark itself. Then if you made a rectangular frame out of the original piece of wood it looked like a headboard.”

Not long after, Tim and his wife happened upon some battery powered LED lights at a store. Inspiration struck and Tim immediately backlit the shark in his son’s room and sent some pictures to friends. Not long after, people were clamoring for orders. “Never in a million years did I think I would be doing this full time. My wife and I still laugh about that. We’re really grateful and thankful for what we're doing,” says Steller. “We’re always telling people you don’t know how much this means to us. This was just a silly fun idea that turned into a full-blown business within only a couple of years.”

Tim and Ashley’s work can be found on their website, where they happily take commissions as well as at farmer’s markets and art shows around the region. Working out of their backyard, with no formal training whatsoever, the Steller’s are proof that you don’t have to have a pedigree to produce great art. You just have to give it a shot.

Pictured: Ocean resin table, one of many artistic creations by Tim Stellar and his wife Ashley. Photo courtesy of the artists.

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