Q&A with Resident Artist Steve Goione

Steve has created exclusive art for the Big Rock Tournament seven times.  “I have a wonderful relationship with the Big Rock and helped to raise a bunch of funding for their charities through my illustrations,” he explains.  

Q. What is your inspiration for this years artwork?

A. The celebration of the 60th anniversary had me immediately thinking about historical elements which led to celebrating what Big Rock has become over the years. The incredible marlin statue at Big Rock Landing and depicting the afternoon weigh-ins is where I landed. Those elements really capture magical afternoons in June!

Q. How long have you been working on it?  When will it be complete? And what are the steps you take to make a signature piece for the tournament?

A. The creative process started when I was asked to be the 2018 artist a few months back.   I developed a few rounds of concept sketch’s with the Big Rock committee and then hit on the approved sketch.  Many times the creative process is the most difficult and challenging aspect. I can’t emphasize enough how important being the artist in the past (and last year) and spending a week with the Big Rock staff and at Big Rock Landing each afternoon helps the process! You live the highs and (some) lows with the committee behind the scenes, you interact with the public each day during the weigh-in and get their view/feel of the Big Rock..  By the weeks end your really tuned-into the complete Big Rock experience and then the job is to translate that into a illustration.

Q. This is the 60th anniversary of Big Rock.  How would you say marine art has evolved in the past 60 years?

A. Marine Art has exploded in the last 10 to 15 years as its surroundings and subject matter are very pleasant, exciting and attractive to illustrators. I believe the biggest change (as almost every business can attest to) is the internet and social media. Anyone who can design a website can become a “marine artist” overnight so the industry is flooded.  Most new “marine artists” will quickly find industry relationships, honesty, delivering on time and on budget projects all along with being a businessman first and artist second is the key to sustaining a long career!

Q. Do you spend more time fishing or creating artwork?

A. Definitely creating illustrations.  I may spend 50 to 75 days a year fishing but the rest of my time is in the studio. Although I am constantly teased about it.  Fishing is “work” for me. There is never a moment when I’m offshore that I am not observing, or looking for that next spark! It may be a mate rigging a bait, an angler in the cockpit, schools of baitfish, game fish, a story told by a crew member, sunrises and sunsets.  Being creative is a blessing and a curse, sometimes you wish you could turn it off if just for a moment.

Goione’s studio is located in Wilmington, NC. His original commission illustrations of sportfishing boats have become a hallmark in the industry.