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Will Lytle

Artist Bio

I was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains, outside of Woodstock, NY. My parents came for the concert, and never truly left, raising me in a hand-built house in an impoverished bohemia rich in things of the land. I grew up smelling of wood smoke, with dirt under my fingernails, comfortable with solitude out in the woods.

I briefly attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan before taking off to see the world, first to New Zealand and then to Hungary and Romania. I saw America from the side of the road, hitchhiking, and from the beds of freight cars, riding the rails. It never occurred to me to settle anywhere else but Woodstock; I was always focused on the ritual of my return to my mountains.

Eventually I wanted to establish myself in a meaningful way in my community, so I built a cabin on my parents’ property, using lumber from the family sawmill, and started writing, drawing, and printing comics that I distributed guerilla-fashion for free. These became popular and soon I was able to support myself entirely by drawing. I currently run a weekly comic and design concert posters and company logos. This past spring I was invited to illustrate Speigel and Grau’s upcoming release of Waking to the Dark, by Writer’s House author Clark Strand. I maintain a lively presence on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.

Early on art became my way of coping with a world that I often feared and distrusted. Imagination and creativity were my means of ritual protection. As I develop as an artist, I come ever closer to communicating with those fears and insecurities, and with maturity comes, maybe, a kindling of fear into a brighter wonder. This probably accounts of the strange mix of darkness and whimsy that informs my drawing style.

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