Nick Dewar, 1973-2010

Nick Dewar, 1973-2010

We received the very sad news today that noted illustrator Nick Dewar passed away. He was an amazing talent who worked with so many SPD members. His wonderfully brilliant illustrations and strong spirit and creative genius will be missed.

His artist rep Kate Larkworthy has the following posted on her Facebook page:
Nick Dewar--what a lovely man and dedicated friend. I can't believe he is gone in body but never, ever, ever in spirit. They surely threw away the mold when they made Nick. Those of us who were lucky to know him will have a void in our lives forever. Nick is survived by his wife, Sri.

A small family service will be held in Newport Beach later this week. A memorial service will be held in New York at a later date. Contributions can be made in Nick's name to radio station WFMU New Jersey.
Visit Nick Dewar's website for a great memorial to him, and his collection of brilliant work.

We encourage SPD folks to leave thoughts and remembrances of Nick in the comments section.

  • Scott Dadich

    I was working with Nick on a series of illustrations back at Texas Monthly in Austin. We were working through some sketches one particularly stressful afternoon and I had commented that I was looking forward to having a drink that evening. The topic of course turned to our favorite brown liquors. Being a Texas boy, my tonic of choice had always been bourbon whiskey. Nick felt it necessary to extoll the particular virtues of his favorite Islay scotch whisky, Laphroaig. I had never really tried scotch at this point, but Nick did his best to describe the briny flavors of the smoky brew and we had a lively back-and-forth about the merits of such brown waters.

    So I went back to work and told my colleague, TJ Tucker, of our conversation. We had a hearty chuckle and continued on our day. Not an hour later, a delivery showed up, a beautiful bottle of Laphroaig 18 single malt. Nick had hung up the phone and found the nearest shop in town to messenger over a bottle. Well, let's just say I don't remember much about the rest of the afternoon, but I will never forget Nick or his kindness and generosity.

    We shared many great collaborations over the past 8 or 9 years, and I still have that same bottle. I save it for special occasions. When I heard the news of his passing, I did have a drink of it that night. I felt in some small way that he was there with me, enjoying the last laugh from that afternoon back in Austin.

    I'll miss you, Nick. Here's to you, old friend.

  • Kate Elazegui

    we've probably all sat at our desks after reading through belabored art memos, racking our heads with "who can i call to do this? who can make sense of it?!" and after pouring through samples and sites, thinking..."nick dewar! nick dewar! nick dewar will save me!" Of course catching him with available time was a whole other affair. i was all to aware that i wasn't the sole admirer of nick's beautifully crafted and uniquely clever talent. It was that whole-hearted belief that he could and would transform that art memo into genius work.

    And although the last time i worked with nick was years ago, he still made such an impression on me. The work, sure, was solidly smart and expertly crafted...but that, in itself, wasn't all Nick was about. Asking him if he could make our ridiculously deadline, he insisted on hand-delivering the small spot to me, saying..."i'll be in the neighborhood (of midtown?!), so it would be great to meet you." That statement reminded me of what we do as designers - not just the hustle of the workday with demanding deadlines and editorially insane requests - but also of the relationships we build with other creative folks, of the talent we seek from people we respect and admire...something that's more real than the pages we print. It was a chance to put face to name, eye to eye, hand to hand.

    It was a quick, but gracious meeting in the lobby that day, we shook hands with a profuse thank you from both sides; but my gratitude that day extends well beyond that assignment...I'm thankful nick dewar reminded me of the importance of building relationships, how we act in those small moments, how it's more gratifying to not only put your head, but to truly sink your heart into it.

  • Gail Anderson

    I think Nick did his final job for us at SpotCo. It was a series of sketches for a poster for a show, and though he was quite ill at the time, he was determined to finish the project. Nick was a lovely guy, and I was such a fan of his illustration.

    Such sad news...

  • Richard Turley

    really really sad news. much the same story as many people above, in that I never personally worked with him, yet always intended to. however, my colleagues over here at the Guardian in London worshipped him and used him extensively early on in his career. We all mourn his loss and pass on our sincere condolences to those he leaves behind.

    It is often traditional over here to set up a special award in their honor when one so young and talented is lost, perhaps this is something SPD could consider in illustration section of their award program?

  • T.J. Tucker

    My very first task at Texas Monthly was to assign an illustration for a fun little column on "The Texas Drawl." (June 2003ish) Nick got the call, and later turned in an hilarious illo of a Fu Manchu toting cowboy, hand cupping the side of his mouth, yelling "FAHR! FAHR!" There was a tiny little house on the horizon—burning of course. "Fire! Fire!" Get it? Nick thought it was even more funny that I had a drawl myself, so he gave me the illustration. Today it hangs in my kitchen reminding me not to burn the house down while attempting to cook. I've had the pleasure of working with Nick on a fairly consistent basis since then and always looked forward to seeing the stuff he'd turn in. Beautiful mind, amazing talent. I'll truly miss his voice and his work.

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