My name is Colin Sean VanWyke, my brand CSVW is exactly how it reads: my initials. Born & raised in the Great Lakes State of Michigan in the small town of Mason. Believe it or not, Art has not always been the name of my game. Hockey was, and has always been a crucial part of my life, even before I was able to tie my own skates. Hockey was my sole passion and it became all I wanted to live for. My dream was to one day be the starting goaltender for my home state’s NHL team, the Detroit Red Wings. Hockey prepared me for a lot of things. What it did not prepare me for, was the life I chose to begin following my graduation. I decided to take a year off, a "gap year" as some people know it as, to work, make a little money for myself, and be more independent.
You wouldn't be reading this biography if playing professional hockey had still been the plan. Shortly following the last game of the long four years of my beloved High School hockey career, I knew that it just wasn't right. I've heard people say nobody changes, but I am living proof that is incorrect. I made new friends, did new things. Soon, the harsh truth life brought out was that things are really just out of our control. Life can be simply unfair or it can be a blessing. Life is whatever you choose to make it.
Unfortunately for myself, I made it a curse; I fell into the mindset that I am nothing but a burden to society. I struggle to look past this mindset more & more every single day, it's a constant battle for my own self worth.
With that said, I have been swallowing pills since I was seven years old for the surplus of problems I live with. Imagine a short, fat, white kid with ADHD, depression, social anxiety, asthma, and of course with low self-confidence, and overall self-worth. That was me, prescribed harsh drugs like Aderall, Focalin, Ritalin, and Vyvanse even before the early age of twelve. I always knew I had problems as a kid, but I didn't start to really understand them until I turned 16. I did not know all of the things I know about medications now, about their potential risks, and how much they really can mess someone’s life up—permanently. I grew up hating myself because I thought I had to take a handful of pills to be a normal kid and to fit in, that kind of hatred can seriously affect the development of any child. To summarize, I am someone who has been through trauma in life and still somehow wakes up everyday, puts on their socks, and conquers my demons.
I worked at a signage company for nearly a year following high school, got a bunch of tattoos, and went to a lot of concerts. I learned a lot about myself, and I found my passion for the arts and I decided to apply to the College for Creative Studies and quit my job after receiving an acceptance letter with a substantial scholarship, based only off of the portfolio I had only spent just four or five months creating. The only reason I was able to go my freshman year was the scholarships; the tuition of this school is over $200,000 over the course of a 4 year education. I had to pay for the $2,500 worth of supplies required for my freshman year alone. I struggled learning how to pay for the basics, and live on my own in the dorms of a building in downtown Detroit. Which happens to be the fourth-hardest school to get into in the state of Michigan. After fighting my way through the two long 15 week semesters and landing a total of nine pieces of artwork in the end of the year Student Exhibition, I felt so proud of myself for making it and finishing out the year after going through all of the drama, and the hard lessons I learned that year. The stress was just too much for me, and I decided to drop out. Out of passion for what I create, I made the decision to ambitiously pursue my Artistic Career without a crucial Degree in Illustration. Even though I was one of only a couple of students from the freshman class to have nine pieces of work I made that year displayed in the Juried Student Exhibition at the end of the year.
The only reason I am alive today is due to music, my mother, and my artwork. It's all I have left to fight for, based on the decisions that have led me here. I have had, and have lost just like any other person in the world. But someone like me, someone who is constantly dealing with manic and depressive episodes, it has been hard to keep friends or any relationships really at all. My problem is my attention, I take enough Adderall a day to keep someone else up for two days straight. I tend to work better alone at night, and that makes socializing a little difficult. I like to dive into my artwork entirely, therefore I need absolutely no distraction around me. I have loved what I have been painting and creating, actually better than all my student work I did since I dropped out. It is the only thing that keeps me going, and all I look forward to except maybe a good concert.
My dream is to get my landscapes in front of eyes in the city of Denver. Eventually, getting in front of the rest of the world. My paintings are my special escape from the harsh reality today that life is fucking hard, and I really do love them all. That is why I want to be primarily known as a freelance, and heavily commissioned, Impressionistic Landscape Painter who dabbles in all other styles for the hell of it. I want to be the next Picasso, and that is quite a goal, but I know I am capable. That is exactly what I am going to do, because it is what drives me. My creative talent has no bounds and that is the reason I am confident in my work, because I can do more than just one thing, I have more than one thing to offer any type of establishment, people, business partner, commissioner, etc. I plan on gathering enough money together to do the typical hipster thing, buy a van and drive all over the US. I am not some hipster, I will drive to all 50 state parks and paint a minimum of two 16" x 20" landscapes while in the every park, and record my every move. I would buy my own studio as soon as possible, buy all of the supplies I need to do my own thing. Wisely putting the rest of it away, saving and building up a decent amount of money to use wisely on necessities I will need later in life. I am not some shmuck with talent and no motivation, if you haven't already noticed the obsessive use of the word "will." I'll be making things happen, figuring things out on my own through hard work, dedication, and heart. I am confident my talent, knowledge, and passion will get me to where I want to be. Sooner than I may think possible. Who knows? That is why I made this biography. Thank you for reading.