” I believe it was Steven who actually initiated hippie dress in San Francisco, before it was fashionable.”
San Francisco Artist
” My drawings are my own language, voices from my subconscious… automatic image writing. I draw directly on the paper with my pen without preconceiving anything – allowing the drawings to make themselves. Often I am surprised and shocked by what appears – sometimes I laugh. These drawings are strictly personal and not intended to entertain anyone. Many of the images come from my dreams. Sometimes when I am drawing, it’s as if forces are working through me, and I am only a medium. I like the results and learn about my other sides… I hang new drawings by my bed and look at them a lot before going to sleep. I find the more I draw, the stranger the drawings become, but also, they get better and better.” – Steven Arnold
Inspired endlessly by his dreams, Steven Arnold would wake each day to capture his nightly visions is his sketchbooks. While most of these drawings were translated into photography, paintings, and sculpture, there are many which stand on their own as unique works of art.
Among Steven Arnold’s first jobs as an artist was to create posters for the influential Matrix nightclub in San Francisco’s Fillmore district. As early as 1966, Arnold’s posters were seen on the streets of San Francisco, advertising musicians like The Charlatans, Steve Miller Blues Band, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Furthered by these bands and others, such as Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and Country Joe and the Fish, The Matrix went on to be credited as the birthplace of the “San Francisco sound” of the psychedelic 1960s. To see more of Steven Arnold’s poster art, scroll to the bottom of our Gallery page.
In the late 1960s, Steven Arnold worked on a series of Japanese accordion sketchbooks, which fold out to reveal long, continuous images across the folded pages. The two examples above represent only a small section of one of the books.