I first found Dylan Stewart through Instagram and after exchanging some messages realized we live five minutes from each other. I went over to his studio space and we kicked it for a while, and I was immediately blown away by his art. He was just putting the finishing touches on a massive wooden mako shark that he hand cut and intricately burned with torches and woodburning pens. I was already hooked on his style and craftsmanship, and then he showed me all of his spearfishing gear.
At first I was confused — there’s no way this guy is actually a woodburner and spearfisherman, right? I had never talked with a spearfisherman, especially in Maine where the ocean visibility can be practically nonexistent, the water drops into the 30s and the air into the negatives. He walked me through the process in baby steps, showing me his 7mm wetsuit that he uses throughout the brutal Maine winters, his various spears, masks, and so on.
Looking at his work again, now through the lens of a spearfisherman, his art became even more powerful. His pieces are scientifically accurate but also organic and stylish; the result of hours and hours spent in the ocean observing fish. I became super curious in his creative process and knew that I wanted to share his story.
Bottom line, Dylan is a super humble dude just doing what he loves and what he believes in, all the while encouraging others to do the same.