S. Preston: Minimalist creations

S. Preston in his gallery in Anaheim, CA.
S. Preston in his gallery in Anaheim, CA.

Sports artist S. Preston — who created the minimalist Heritage Hall on this issue’s cover — taps deep into what makes fans feel euphoric about their favourite teams. He’ll sketch a championship trophy during a game’s final minutes, or visit (and then draw) revered stadiums to understand the sights, smells and energy of a live match. Because to capture these visceral connections, Preston first has to feel them himself. 

“If a subject doesn't connect to my soul, any art I create isn’t going to connect with fans,” he says. He is guided by the Spanish concept of duende — which he translates as “the exact moment a piece of art connects into your soul.” He says there’s a similar moment when sports fans enter a beloved stadium or watch a game, and it’s this feeling he strives to replicate in the pieces he sells online and in his gallery in Anaheim, CA. 

But he also understands how people consume art nowadays. He creates licensed artwork for the MLB, the NBA, the NFL, Star Wars and Disney, and in September 2021, Preston released one of the first NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to be licensed by the MLB. It depicts his hugely popular series of 30 minimalist baseball stadium portraits that, once in the marketplace, performed well and were extremely successful. NFTs are the latest game-changers in the art world, and Preston plans to launch more this year. 

“It’s just a different way for me to present my artwork,” he says. “NFTs are like when MP3s came out. Those  were a completely new way of experiencing music, and the whole industry had to change to accommodate them — but they’re here to stay.”

This or that?

S. Preston — the artist behind the Spring 2022 issue of LINK magazine — graduated from SAIT's Cinema, TV, Stage and Radio program in 1996. Tune in below for a rapid-fire interview with the minimalist artist behind the cover of the Heritage Hall special edition of LINK.