Hang on a minute!
I recognise this guy!
Rob was born and bred in a small rural community called Ohariu Valley, 15 minutes out of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
As a boy Rob would draw on anything and everything, much to his parent’s dismay. Walls. Doors. Windows… anything. Even paper sometimes. LOL. Giving-in to his artistic endeavours and to avoid more cleaning and redecorating bills, they allowed him to paint murals on his bedroom walls.
Rob would sit and draw and paint at every opportunity. His love of art carried on through primary and secondary school, where he was a leading influencer to paint murals on the outer walls of the classroom blocks.
His father also introduced Rob to black and white photography in his early teens. This is another artistic outlet he really enjoys. They used the home laundry, converted into a makeshift dark room, to produce many original and interesting images.
Among many artistic accolades, Rob took out second place in a high school art competition at age 13yrs. During his high school years (college they call in it NZ) Rob’s art teacher, Brian Wong, saw huge potential in Rob’s creative thinking so encouraged him to pursue a ‘Commercial Artists’ course. After finishing college with art, technical drawing, woodwork and metal work skills under his belt, he studied for 3 years full-time, plus night school, at what was then Wellington Polytechnic, graduating in 1985. While under the enormous pressure of deadlines from the Visual Communications Design & Photography Course, Rob still found time to paint and draw, even selling some works.
Prior to study Rob took a gap year and working for Camera House, further extending his knowledge of photography and the finer workings of photographic equipment.
After graduating Polytech he landed a junior art director position in an international ad agency.
This is ultimately his career path to date, which took him away from NZ and over to Australia, spending 12 years in Sydney and the past 20+ years on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
A career which saw Rob working in many multinational ad agencies in Wellington, Sydney and Brisbane, creating many award winning campaigns, mainly in Direct Marketing. This part of his career honed Rob’s creative and paper engineering skills along with countless other creative skills.
He’s been a Senior Art Director and Associate Creative Director with numerous Multi-national Advertising Agencies including Mojo Partners Direct, DDB Direct Sydney, Ammirati Puris Lintas Direct, Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Clemenger Direct and also did a stint at Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, amongst other big names.
As an Art Director Rob has been very privileged to have worked with many of the best photographers and illustrators/painters in Australia and New Zealand. Rob gleaned much from this multiplicity of talent and during the past 30+ years resulting in a plethora of painted works and taken untold photographic images of his own.
Rob currently runs his own Design Consultancy, The AD Man – Rob Stephenson, which has been successfully creating graphics and marketing materials for the past 20+ years.
Rob is a true creative thinker with design skills across all media including Direct Marketing, Graphic Design, Corporate Identity, Photography and Retouching, Illustration and more.
More recently Rob has been turning his mind back to the ‘Art World’.
This year he has decided it is high time he got involved and showcased more of his work.
Photography, sculpture and mixed media are the focus at this stage.
Rob draws inspiration from everywhere. His goal is to always create interesting, witty, thought provoking art, photography, sculptures and environmental art.
Kicking off this new-found adventure, Rob has already exhibited at the internationally acclaimed Swell Festival 2021 and Swell Smalls Gallery, Sculptures On The Edge – Maleny, Sculpture In The Vines – Sirromet Winery and has a few pieces in the 33 Park Road pop-up Exhibition, selling one piece already. Not a bad start hey?!