Todd Robert Westover
Todd Robert Westover, ( b. 1962) in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, has lived in Southern California since 1977, and is currently a resident of the famous Brewery Art Colony, the largest live/work artist compound in the country. He began doodling as a child, urged by his parents to draw instead of watching TV, and his earliest influence – the pop art of the 60’s – has remained with him today as an inspiration. “Flower-Power” graphics, those ubiquitous brightly colored daisy stickers, Peter Max paintings, Andy Warhol and the movie “ Yellow Submarine” all made a lasting impact on the young artist. His father was an illustrator, his uncle an even more talented artist, who frequently gifted young Todd with comic books, and suggested he try to copy the R. Crumb drawings.
Growing up in the Midwest in the 60’s and 70’s definitely left a lasting imprint on Todd’s design aesthetic, with its odd color combinations and retro hippie-graphics. After high school, Todd took a package design class at a local Junior College and was soon approached to work in the school’s in-house ad agency, designing brochures, posters, and catalogs, allowing him to build a solid portfolio of printed pieces.
He landed a junior designer job at a small agency, and before long, interviewed at McMullen Publishing, and was offered the art director position at Hot Bike Magazine. At 19 he had found his professional calling, and spent nearly the next 30 years art-directing photography, video, web sites, and licensed apparel for magazines, including Hot Rod, Motorcyclist, and others. His doodles followed him throughout, and he would often fill notepads with lazy, loopy florals while sitting in staff meetings.
In 2013, Todd quit the publishing world to become a stay-at-home dad, and would often paint with his two young daughters. The girls would mix their own rich colors, paint for 20 minutes, and then lose interest. Instead of pouring the paint down the drain, Dad would pull out a piece of butcher paper and do his thing - the flower doodle. What turned into wrapping paper for presents soon had people asking if it existed on canvas. Seven years and more than 200 paintings later, the signature style and component of Todd’s drawing have not changed dramatically.
With the deft utilization of simple forms, he is somehow able to create portraits, houses, scenics, full-figure nudes, and vases on tables. The repetitive rounded curves and flowing circles have a familiar sensuality that most people, consciously or not, find familiar and comforting. His paintings and street murals all share the same joyous iconographic doodles of his youth, thereby fulfilling his desire to bring a bit more joy into the world.