Growing up in South Florida Steve Ozment has a unique appreciation for the beauty of his tropical and marine environment. As fishing and diving are his passions he can see first hand the color and nuances of his subjects, from the depth of green pigment in a groupers' eye to the number of finrays in a snook dorsal fin to the head down "I'm hiding !" position of a hogfish.
While art was always an interest - it was not his main profession. The path back to his true passion of creating art was a circuitous and sometimes painful one. He was (is) proficient in the field of managing high end fishing tackle shops and is a master crafter of custom fishing rods. After twenty years of the daily grind of running different shops he decided to broaden his work horizons by taking a position as a wholesale tackle salesman. The job entailed "cold calling" prospective clients via telephone. It was miserable. Every morning the head sales manager called him up to the office for "encouragement" ( yell at him) It was a tough but essential lesson. After three months that was it - "what do you think Steve" was the question "Jim - this isn't for me" was the answer. The sales manager queried "So what do you want to do ?" in a moment of crystal clarity the answer was " I want to be an artist!"
Having no formal training in art or any idea of how to actually succeed as an artist he bounced from tackle shop to tackle shop but still never lost the dream. Through a lucky contact he wound up meeting a local marine artist that wanted to start a tackle shop! Finally someone to learn from! The first experience of actually selling a piece of art came about when the owner showed up with an armload of wooden boxes and proclaimed "we are going to paint these and sell them ! ". The first thing Steve thought was "what a dumb idea...." but after the last painted box went out with a happy customer the ball was rolling!.
That was 2006- it still took a couple of years to learn the ropes but now Steve travels the state showing his art and has displayed in prominent venues such as the Blue Wild dive expo with Sheri Daye, the dive and travel section of the Ft Lauderdale International boat show and the Florida Sport Fishing magazine marine art issue. He currently is working with the nationally known Fishskinz line of apparel and life is good!