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Made in Vermont: Colossal Sanders

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NORTH FERRISBURGH, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont artist David Holub may not be taking paint to paper for his creations, but he is taking mouse to mousepad.

“The genre that I work in is called digital montage,” says Holub. To sum it up, this North Ferrisburgh-based artist takes a mix of images and puts them together seamlessly to create his unique works.

Whether it be the creemee strongman, creemee world headquarters, or the Bernie Sanders 60-foot statue, these manufactured images have become a staple in many Vermont gift shops. Stickers, cards, prints offer a variety of ways to support Holub’s art. The Colorado native started with a career in journalism, before moving into magazines, doing design for a weekly publication in Durango.

“I really started to hone my art skills because I was doing design, editing, did all the covers… did like 100 covers,” Holub recalls. He started dabbling more at a Colorado art studio right before a move to Vermont.

“And then the pandemic hit and there wasn’t a lot to do, so I just had a goal every day that I was going to come up with a new pandemic-related illustration,” he says. “But what I didn’t quite know about Vermont is that it’s full of weirdos and quirky things, really. I think my weirdo quirky art is just perfect for it.”

After putting his work up on Etsy, things started taking off, enough to make a living off of this fun and funny art, created under the name ‘Colossal Sanders.’

“When I start, I don’t always have a clear idea of where I’m going,” says Holub, sitting down at his computer to show us how it’s done. Fortunately for this job, he doesn’t need a clear-cut path. Creativity and humor are the backbone of his biz, neither of which are in short supply.

“The first step is the idea generation, which is the fun part. The second most fun part is actually bringing those ideas to fruition,” he says. Holub is the sole creator, weaving together public-domain images to create his dream-like works. But he gets help from his family, too. Henry the Cat is an inspiration for many prints. And his wife, Fannie, took a screen-printing class just to add t-shirts to the repertoire.

The team effort, and Vermont-centric humor, have proven to be enough to make this business stick.

“I always had glamorized a Vermont artist living in the woods… like if I could just make it to that, I will have made it. And I’m kind of here now, which is amazing,” says Holub.

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