SprouseArts.com was created by actor/artist Dylan Sprouse (born August 4, 1992) as a place where he could express himself as an artist. Launched in mid 2010, Dylan intended for the website to be a place where he could showcase his own artwork and designs, as well as discuss his favorite artists and artwork. Although extremely devoted to his TV fans, Dylan has expressed his desire that Sprouse Arts remain solely for the discussion of art and related topics, and is not for discussion of his personal life, television or film career.
Wary of the problems that can be encountered on many social networking sites, Dylan has kept it simple by maintaining only one social media account on Twitter, and like the Sprouse Arts website, this account is only used for the discussion of art & artists, and the sharing of art and design topics and links. He is adamant to his followers that he does not utilize any other social media networks for fan contact or otherwise. In fact, he has been relentless at weeding out imposter accounts on Twitter to ensure there is no confusion, and for the safety of followers. Dylan welcomes all followers on Twitter, but states that a follow back is unlikely. The accounts he follows are in line with the purpose of Sprouse Arts.
Typical postings on the website are of new works, events and art related projects and contests. Followers can leave comments on Dylan’s postings, but are encouraged to keep the posts “on topic”.
The website is linked to an official Sprouse Arts store set up through Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, California. In the Sprouse Arts Meltdown shop, patrons and collectors can purchase Dylan’s creations, some of which include his William and Shady vinyl figures, high-quality Limited Edition prints of his original artwork, and t-shirts, making these items available to people around the world. None of these items are mass-produced.
Many of his original works have also been offered for sale for serious collectors of Sprouse Arts works and although not part of the online store collection, Meltdown also handles these purchases through special arrangements.
Dylan has put an emphasis on the quality of all the figures, prints, and clothing that are attached to his name, saying that no expense is spared on production, something that his customers, and this writer can attest to.
Dylan’s interest in art began at a young age. His mother was also an artist, and she encouraged him to paint and draw. As he grew older, he began sketching and cartooning, putting more and more of his ideas on paper. He’s been quoted as saying “I get a lot of my inspiration just from life; I’m really into nature, so that’s been my inspiration a lot of the time”.
He has cited some of his influences as ranging from toy designer/artist Joe Ledbetter, to Francisco Goya- Spanish painter of royalty, to early Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, revealing his eclectic artistic tastes.
The end of 2010, saw Dylan concentrating on his passion for art more so than at any other time in the past. He was active daily, posting his works and projects on his website, and communicating to followers on Twitter. Dylan has expressed via Tweets that he will be traveling as much as possible and promoting Sprouse Arts between the New Year and Fall of 2011 when he plans on attending NYU where he will study Art and Design.
Sprouse Arts will begin a Limited Product Society with Monthly Renewals. This will feature Limited Edition Sprouse Arts items that will change regularly in the Sprouse Arts shop.
Plans are also in the works to take Sprouse Arts on the road in the very near future. Dylan has alluded to upcoming events in Berlin, Germany and possibly the UK. Details of the events are still being worked out.
William & Shady
The best known of all his works, William & Shady are products of Dylan’s imagination, and the inspiration for the creation of his W&S Vinyl Figures. W&S began as drawings and eventually, became this piece painted by Sprouse in 2006. The painting was photographed with the artist in a special edition of People Magazine in May of 2009.
Inspired by the popular Pokemon series, of which he himself is a fan, Dylan said of Zombiechu: “The reason I like this (admittedly) gruesome pic is actually because of the thought that came through my mind upon creating it, Pokemon battle’s would be epic to view, but imagine how epic they would be if they were zombies…”
Giclée prints were produced in a limited number of 13 signed and numbered copies.
Killing Time- Watercolor
Although little has been said about the inspiration for this piece, this painting revealed a side of Dylan not seen previously. Many of the commentators had their theories about the broken hour glass and mysterious green globes, but only one person knows what it means for sure, and he’s not talking.
Giclée prints were produced in a limited number of 13 signed and numbered copies.
Thought of In a Dream- Watercolor
Perhaps the most talked about of Dylan’s work, is Thought of In a Dream. Inspired by an actual dream he had, Sprouse said of the work, “The one with the hand was one I actually thought of in a dream, not a good one to tell you the truth but I thought it was kinda crazy so I drew it down and painted it up anyway”. Giclée prints were produced in a limited number of 11 signed and numbered copies, and 7 special prints which were produced for an upcoming Sprouse Arts event.
Shadowplay- Spray paint
Not being bound to just one medium, Dylan has tried his hand at several, this one being spray-paint. Dylan has said of this piece, “My experiment with Spray-paint, I started with a base coat of white, and after that dried I added a coat of black on top of it. Once that dried I began the tedious task of scratching away what I wanted to appear under it.”
William & Shady
William and Shady, characters created by Dylan first debuted in drawings and a painting by the artist in 2006. Dylan’s desire to transform the characters into 3D vinyl figures came to fruition in mid 2010. The figures, which were produced in limited runs of five different colors, were offered for sale by Sprouse Arts through his partners at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, California. Many of the pieces were signed by Sprouse himself.
Itchy the Baboon- Custom W&S Figure
As part of his first personal art exhibit, held from December 11-19, 2010 in Los Angeles, Dylan created a custom figure using his William & Shady vinyl figure as inspiration and a base. The figure, which resembled a baboon, complete with piercing red eyes, red and blue lips, “fur” and a red behind, was dubbed Itchy the Baboon.
Sprouse has also dabbled in pixel art, creating digital renditions of his signature William & Shady characters among others. He has hinted at the possibility of an 8-bit William & Shady video game. The digital version of William & Shady was used as a design for t-shirts that Sprouse made commemorating his first exhibit.
Exhibits Displaying Sprouse Arts Works
Tiny Too Show at Gallery Meltdown
This show, which opened on December 11, 2010, featured miniature “pocket sized” works by over 30 known artists, like Renee French , Jon Schnepp, and Tony Millionaire, along with one piece, All Out of Great Balls by Dylan Sprouse. It was hosted by Gallery Meltdown in Los Angeles, California.
This exhibit, which opened on the same day as the Tiny Too Show and ran through December 19, 2010, also hosted by Gallery Meltdown, it exclusively featured works by Dylan Sprouse. Among pieces featured were the original William & Shady painting, Thought Of In a Dream, and Killing Time, among others. A collection of William & Shady vinyl figures, as well as some custom William & Shady figures were also on display at the show.
This was the first show in which Sprouse Arts original works of art and custom figures were offered for sale, several of which sold throughout the course of the exhibit, and for a few weeks after the show closed.
What Are They Saying?
Dylan’s head-first dive into the world of art may have caught some fans and followers off guard at first, but his concept is gaining momentum. Many followers, not previously interested in art and design have taken up its study and practice, and others, who’s talents may have been shelved or untested are giving it another try. He has also gained a whole new set of followers and friends who are only vaguely familiar with his acting career, but are totally committed to his move into art.
The Sprouse Arts website allows users to post not only comments, but also links to their topic-related artwork for others to see, and comment on. This, along with his @SprouseArts Twitter account, have allowed many people with similar interests to connect and share their passion for art & design, among other things.
References & External Links:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use this website or the @SprouseArts Twitter account to contact Dylan about his television and acting career, or personal life?
A: No. Both the @SprouseArts Twitter account and this website are for discussion of arts & design only.
Q: Can anyone follow @SprouseArts on Twitter?
A: Yes. Dylan encourages people to follow @SprouseArts, with only one, simple request: Respect the “on-topic” rule, especially when posting to the timeline.
Q: I have sent @SprouseArts several requests to follow me on Twitter and/or retweet my messages, but he has not replied. Why?
A: The @SprouseArts Twitter account is for discussion of art & design and related topics only. If your request was not topic-related, you most likely will not be RT’d or followed.
Q: I have found many other social network sites on the internet claiming to be Dylan Sprouse, even on Twitter. How do I know if they are real?
A: Dylan Sprouse uses only ONE social network site, and that is @SprouseArts. He does not use MySpace, YouTube, Formspring, or any others. Any of these social sites claiming to be “official” or otherwise, are fraudulent, and should be avoided (“fan sites” excluded).
Q: I want to post something art-related on the @SprouseArts Twitter feed, how can I be sure it will be read? Should I post the same thing more than once?
A: No. Dylan reads all on-topic posts on the feed. There is no need to post more than once. Multi-posting disrupts the feed.
Q: I would like to order a Sprouse Arts item from the Shop. Do they ship to my country and how much is shipping?
A: Yes. Sprouse Arts merchandise ships WORLDWIDE! Shipping rates are determined by your geographical location. Contact Meltdown Comics via the webform on the Meltdown site if you have questions about ship rates.
Q: I would like to purchase Sprouse Arts merchandise online, but I am under 18 years of age.
A: No problem. If you are under 18, you will need your parent’s consent to purchase Sprouse Arts items.
The depository of curiosities and anomalies that SPROUSEARTS likes. Follow me @sprousearts on twitter for random updates!