Sunday, November 13, 2016

STUDIO SPACE: Robin Ewers Carnes

What can I say? I’m a local Cincinnati artist who loves my hometown, bourbon, hot dogs and cats. I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Graphic Design from Antonelli College and after 10 years of working in the field, it was time to take the next step. I now work as a full-time artist and freelancer and I’m also the Brand Ambassador for George Remus Bourbon Whiskey.

I work primarily in watercolors, oil, ink and graphite. I find inspiration just about anywhere, but mainly my city of Cincinnati is what I feed off of. I love creating greeting cards, portrait work, loose watercolors, modern calligraphy and quirky illustrations.

Fun Facts:
    • Teaching Artist on the Ezzard Charles mural located at Liberty & Republic Streets downtown
    • Top 25 Artist for 2014 Secret Artworks show
    • Named Cincinnati’s Best Local Artist of 2010 by CityBeat Magazine readers
    • Artist of the “Over-the-Swine” Pig statue for the Cincinnati Development Fund
    • Co-Artist of the Christian Moerlein Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Pig along with Randy Wilcox from Once Blind Studios

My art has been mentioned and promoted by Cincy Chic, A-Line Magazine, FOX 19 Morning Extra, Artworks Cincinnati, Springboard Cincinnati, Abservd Magazine, Soapbox Cincinnati, CityBeat Magazine, Cincy Magazine, RAW Artists, Metromix,, Wild Turkey Distillery, MadTree Brewing and Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
On the Drawing Table: Concepts for a 2017 cocktail calendar
Coming out soon: Hopefully lots of new things!

How did you get your start as a professional artist?
Well, as a fine artist, I think I got paid for a commission piece maybe around 2005 or so but I identify with becoming ‘professional’ in 2008 when I became an LLC. That’s when I really tried to find my style, and what I was most passionate about creating. But during that time, since 2005, I worked professionally as a corporate graphic designer and continued to do so until just last year, 2015. At which point, my current job had taken a turn down a road I wasn’t interested in and I decided change things up a bit.

Describe your work.
My work has evolved quite a bit from 2008. I used to focus on black and white oil paintings of lost celebrities (like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, etc). However, currently, I work primarily in watercolor and ink and focus on more illustrative work and local landscape-themed pieces.

Tell about your workspace.
I try to make my workspace a warm place. I do love natural light and plants. I have a jasmine plant that smells amazing when it blooms. I repainted my studio a nice spring green to lighten it up. I’ve got 2 desks, one for my computer work and one for drawing. I sell prints of my work and other paper goods on Etsy and through a few places in town so I have my materials set up in a way that matting prints, packaging my items and getting shipping labels ready flows easily.

What are your favorite materials digital and traditional?
 My favorite digital materials range from my Wacom tablet when working on the computer and right now I’m loving working on the Procreate app on the iPad.

My favorite traditional materials are just a trusty no. 2 pencil and a Moleskine sketchbook. I also have a watercolor Moleskine sketchbook that I carry around with a mini whiskey painters palette and aqua brush. It’s great for on-the-go.

What’s your typical workday/work session like?
My typical workday starts with coffee of course! I usually get up and work on a few art projects, either commission pieces or new things for the Etsy shop in the morning. But in the afternoons, I work as the Brand Ambassador for George Remus Bourbon Whiskey. Evenings are spent working on what I didn’t finish in the morning or just knocking out a few doodles.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated as you work?
I tend to be quite scatterbrained when I work and I’m definitely a procrastinator so with those stacked against me, I know myself well enough that when my brain starts to trail off, I either get up and knock something off my ‘to-do’ list at the house or do a quick little doodle to switch gears. I usually have a few projects going at one time so I have something to keep my brain occupied regardless!

What is your dream job?
That’s hard to say! I used to want to sit around and paint all day, but I recently got the opportunity to do that and it wasn’t for me. I need to be super busy and lots going on to get anything accomplished. But I will say, I would love to maybe someday own an old historic building and turn it into a working space for artists. Who knows though – I tend to change my mind a lot.

Do you keep a sketchbook? 
Yes! I actually have 4 smaller sketchbooks going right now. They each have their own purpose. And that doesn’t include the one I keep in my purse for emergency situations!


What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to Tool, or any Maynard James Keenan’s music. Sia and Beyoncé are regulars on my list, and I enjoy listening to the Elizabethtown soundtracks for some calming music. I tend to sing when I work too, and that helps me get fully focused into my work. And to be completely honest, I love working in the peace and quiet. There’s so much noise around me sometimes, I really just like the silence.

Who are your artistic influences?
I’ve always been a fan of Van Gogh’s work, but more recently I’m influenced by Wolf Kahn. His use of color is inspiring. I also follow Keiko Tanabe and Grahame Booth for their watercolor work. It’s amazing to me.

What do you do that is not art related that inspires you?
Usually, I drink some bourbon! However, my husband and I are expecting our first child in March so that drinking bourbon had to take a backseat. However, I love to cook. Even if it’s nothing too fancy it just helps to do mindless things like chopping veggies and stirring something. I also love to take road trips, those don’t happen too often unfortunately, but just a drive out to the country works for me. 

What was the best advice you got in your career so far?
Whew, that’s a toughy. Honestly, I think for me, the best advice I ever received was when I was a senior in high school, and was told to go for a career in graphic design versus fine art. Back then, the fine arts weren’t appreciated as much as they are now and there weren’t as many job opportunities for fine artists. I’m super glad I went in that direction because I learned skills that are incredibly useful. Even though I identify as a fine artist and illustrator, my graphics skills helped me to design my own logo, branding and website assets and to know good, cohesive design. I think good design techniques carry over into fine art in many ways. Now, I’m able to dabble in both digital and traditional mediums easily and that works for someone like me – someone who tends to need constant change... haha!

What is your favorite color?
It tends to change, but for a while now it’s been coral and turquoise.

How can we get best follow your art online/on social media?
My website is, but you can find me on Instagram under ‘rewers’ and my Facebook page is under ‘r.ewers designs.’ 

Those link to my Twitter and Tumblr accounts too. 

Instagram is usually where things are posted first though, it’s my favorite social media platform.


  1. Great post Robin! Your beautiful soul shines through all your work.

  2. That's a great representation of your personality and your art!

  3. Wonderful! Best of Luck and congrats on your new arrival!

  4. Yeah,good post Robin. Keep up the good work. It's been nice getting to know you and seeing your great work.