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‘Stroke of luck’ inspires The Crafty Animal

‘Stroke of luck’ inspires The Crafty Animal

By Peg McRoy Glover

Audwynn Newman will broaden Hendricks County’s shopping options this October with his new art shop, The Crafty Animal, located on the east half of Old Bob’s outdoor specialty store, Hwy. 36, Avon.

Newman’s art is fun and funky. His natural talent for creating comic book art and his training at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art landed him work with Marvel and D. C. Comics. His art is unusual but very relatable. It features sports rivals, schools, towns and monuments in Indiana, as well as various libations such as craft beers and wine. He even offers a tee-shirt with the Kool-Aid man on it.

He reflects on his work, “Local people should be able to get good, quality local art—art that identifies with them and where they are.”

But his whole life hasn’t been art-centered. After marriage and a family, Newman went to work as an operations manager for a large courier delivery company and was quite successful.

In his fifteenth year at the company and just shy of his 45th birthday, he suffered a major stroke.

“I spent five days in the hospital after my stroke because my blood pressure was so high there was fear I would have another stroke. The whole right side of my body was affected, and I am right handed. I couldn’t even pick up a plastic fork. I remember sitting there in tears thinking I’m never going to draw again. And then I realized, God gave me this gift. He was tapping me on the shoulder and saying, ‘I want you to use your gift’.  I decided at that moment that come hell or high water that I was going to get better and go back to my art. What I am doing now was born out of the darkest point in my life.  That is why I call it my ‘stroke of luck’”.

In tandem with his physical and occupational therapy, he used art to retrain his body and mind. A piece titled, Louisville Slugger was his first image following his stroke.

His wife, Vicky Haley-Newman says of Audwynn, “He has this internal drive to do whatever he is thinking of doing and then make it successful.”

His store will feature other artists’ work as well including jewelry, pottery, knitted goods like hats and clutches, pop art, string art, home décor and baby accessories.

The Crafty Animal will be his second location in Hendricks County. He has worked out of his New Art Studios space in Plainfield for nine years and is one of 30 artists who display their work at The Art Bank on Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis.

Check out his art at newartrivals.com.

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