Don Stewart

Visual Humorist
Birmingham, AL, United States

About Don

Bio

Artist with a solid background in medical science, humor, composite imagery and visual wordplay, drawing on 25 years of studio experience. Create and distribute a signature line of themed composite drawings, reproductions, books and peripheral products. Displayed nationally via art galleries, juried art events, bookstores and web distribution through www.DSArt.com.

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

Art - Drawing, medicine, Fundraising

An idea worth spreading

Using artwork to incite humor, and raise awareness and funds for worthy causes.

I'm passionate about

Making connections, and making sense.

Talk to me about

Art, humor, medicine, and community service

People don't know I'm good at

Gardening

My TED story

I am a former physician whose sense of humor is fueled by an overdose of education. My job is to make unusual verbal/visual connections that make people think and smile at the same time. Once a dedicated pre-medical student, an innocent interest in drawing shifted my attention, and changed my life. After medical school and a surgical internship, it became apparent that my academic intentions were losing out to my creative tendencies. I left the hospital for the studio the day I received my medical license. That was 25 years ago. While my initial goal was to find a way to survive as an artist, I discovered that my drawings were doing more than providing me a living - they were making a difference in people's lives. Now my work does more than entertain and educate. It has also become a practical vehicle for raising awareness and much-needed funds for education, environmental action, and rehabilitation for wounded warriors.

Comments & conversations

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Don Stewart
Posted almost 3 years ago
Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes
This powerful model should be replicated in every community. I've been a guerrilla gardener for years, and have been delighted to watch neighbors pick up and expand the practice, even as city officials openly fought the idea, once spending thousands in public funds to bulldoze one of our (insufficiently) concealed vegetable patches. How wonderful it would be if this practice could be recognized for its many benefits to our town and its people. To that end, I have forwarded this TED talk to our mayor. I encourage everyone, everywhere to do the same.
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Don Stewart
Posted almost 3 years ago
Will or Can "Open Hardware" replace Capitalism, or at least be the leading drive for people to continue living instead of making just money?
Hat's off to Pat for working so hard to nip this upstart idea in the bud (rather unsuccessfully, I believe) - and for realizing that the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Capitalism taken to its logical extreme ends with one entity holding all property, to the exclusion and deficit of all others. As noted above, it is also a very efficient way to remove beneficial ideas from the marketplace, in order to maximize profits on existing technologies. Cesar's version of Open Source Development seems to provide for any number of for profit-making opportunities along the way, without allowing money-making to be the primary motivation, or the overriding goal. Perhaps this approach will also allow the DNA of altruism to compete for the first time with the DNA of 'me first'. Sharing ideas - and allowing more people to make money in the process - is good business. Whether it's oil clean-up, net-zero energy, or socially-conscious entrepreneurism, Open Source development has the potential to build a loyal client base, encourage innovation, and boost sales of whatever products emerge from the cooperative creative stream. And it seems to engage far more people over a broader geographic range than is possible with the standard linear corporate model. I will be interested to see how many more idea streams take advantage of this approach, and how hard corporations will try to fight against it. That metric alone should lend credence to the value of Open Source.
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Don Stewart
Posted almost 3 years ago
Cesar Harada: A novel idea for cleaning up oil spills
The promise of Open Source development is that it eliminates the possibility of any single corporate entity unilaterally determining that a concept isn't immediately cost-effective - or worse, buying the rights to competitive ideas, and intentionally shelving them. Nothing discourages innovation more than seeing good ideas taken out of the market. Well done, Cesar - Thanks for your concern, your persistence, and your willingness to inspire others to share.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Rodney Mullen: Pop an ollie and innovate!
This is why I listen to TED talks. There is nothing about me that would entice me for a moment to step on a skate board and do tricks, but there was surprisingly little in this talk that had to do with skateboarding. Instead, this was one of the most revealing essays on creativity that I have seen on TED, or anywhere else. As he so clearly demonstrated, the lessons Rodney Mullen has gleaned from his particular vocation are transferrable to all areas of creative endeavor: Try. Learn. Build on past successes. Remain open to new and old information. Learn some more. Share at every level with people who are as driven and as excited as you are. Fall down. Get up. Try again. "Those of us who feel like rejects to begin with" now have all the more reason to get out there and fail repeatedly, gloriously - winning every step along the way.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Rick Guidotti: From stigma to supermodel
"I feel as an artist, it is my responsibility to steady (our) gaze a while longer... to see beauty in all differences." What an excellent observation. I can think of no better mandate for those of us who care to observe, and who dare to make a living communicating what we see. Well done, Mr. Guidotti.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Reuben Margolin: Sculpting waves in wood and time
Stressed out? I saw no evidence of that. On the contrary, it seemed clear to me that the artist was comfortable allowing his work to speak for itself. From the look of the audience, it did just that. From the outset I was impressed by how much this TED talk differed so strikingly from the norm. Rather than take us on a didactic journey through the why's and how's, Reuben Margolin instead chose to give us just enough information (I love the movement of water... I love to work with my hands) to let us know why he goes to all this trouble, then lets the results of his labor complete the presentation for him. No, it appeared to me that, with the exception of human interaction, he cares for nothing so much as the expression of waveforms through his art. Not stress. Not apathy. As Enrico observes: Just a continuation of flow.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Reuben Margolin: Sculpting waves in wood and time
Knowing the mechanism of feeling may make it less real, may 'rub the new and shiny off'n it', as we say in the South. But only temporarily. Knowing the state of myelination in my children's nerves did not take away from my sense of wonder when they tried to stand and walk, or take away any of the immediate tragedy (or laugh-out-loud humor) when they face-planted into the carpet. Understanding the chemistry of infatuation does not keep from wanting to wallow in it at every opportunity. Nor does an appreciation of the properties of theobromine make me any less eager to dive into a thick slice of chocolate cake. Hang in there, Mikel. You are curious enough to ask 'Why?' and find real answers. Be brave enough to ask 'Why not?', and order dessert before dinner.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Reuben Margolin: Sculpting waves in wood and time
Aw, now you had to go and ask, didn't you?. I am almost able to get lost in the undulating flow of these brilliant sculptures, but I cannot shut off my brain. 'How did he do that?' is the question that haunts artists whenever they encounter each other's creative work, and Reuben Margolin gives us just enough background information to begin answering that question. What 3 words would I use to describe his work? Tedious. Exacting. Satisfying.
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Don Stewart
Posted about 3 years ago
Roger Doiron: My subversive (garden) plot
Avis, I've been a home gardener and guerrilla community gardener for 20 years, and am delighted to see your many posts on this talk. Your web site is wonderful, and provides exactly the sort of information people need in order to expand Roger Doiron's, (and your, and my) philosophy of sustainable food production. Thanks for sharing your experience and enthusiasm. I'll be bookmarking your site.