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Drew Fowler on Achieving Sobriety Through Art

Drew Fowler is an artist living in South New Jersey who creates abstract fluid art. His pieces are striking, vibrant, colorful and as he describes them “inspired by joy”. It is a joy that was hard-earned by Fowler who credits his foray into art as a mechanism for maintaining his soon to be eight years of continuous sobriety.

Drew comes from a small town in Southeastern Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. He grew up with two older sisters and his mother but tragically lost his father to addiction when he was just sixteen years old.

“At the time I swore I wouldn’t follow in his footsteps”, Fowler said, “but still I found myself using drugs and alcohol to cope with his loss and all my other problems. This went on for several more years before I found sobriety.”

It would take a near death experience to shake Drew out of his old way of thinking. To help him stay on a sober path he turned to creating art.

“When I started painting back in 2016, it was just a random idea I had during a stressful time in my early recovery. I had never painted before, and I had very little confidence in my artistic skills at the time. I just needed something to do other than thinking about getting high. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed it. I was relentless those first few years. Almost every night after work I would come home and paint until it was time for bed. The money and energy I once used for getting high was now feeding my new addiction: ART.” 

Drew defines his artistic approach as “abstract fluid art”. He specializes in crafting large, dynamic paintings that evoke the movement and vibrancy of water and color. His process involves using acrylic paint, flow mediums, silicone oil, all of which requires a flat surface. He’s also spent a lot of time exploring drip art, and sites Jackson Pollock and Van Gogh as influences.

“I clear my work area and start mixing my paints, which takes about 15-20 minutes” he explains. “I crank up the music and I start working. It’s a very physical process that mostly involves standing and leaning over the canvas while I work. I lift, tilt, and rotate the canvas, sometimes relying on gravity to shift the paints I’ve laid down. Other times I’ll blow on the paint to manipulate it in more precise directions. I recently started filming myself so I can post time lapsed videos on social media.”

Of course, creating art is just one of several factors that have helped keep Drew sober:

“CMA (Crystal Meth Anonymous) played a huge role in helping me get my life back on track. I worked the steps, found a sponsor, and became very involved in the recovery community. My partner, Christopher, has also been incredibly supportive of my sobriety, along with my family and friends. Ultimately, what keeps me sober today is the life I’ve built in my recovery. I want to fiercely protect what I have by staying sober.”

As for the future, Drew recently started branching into resin and geode paintings and is brainstorming ideas for a bear flag painting as an upcoming piece. He will also continue being a cat dad and continue to enjoy his hobbies of working out, playing video games and watching horror movies; all while creating art, with Christopher by his side.

To purchase artwork from Drew Fowler head to

And be sure to follow him on social media: Facebook I Instagram I Tik Tok

**For customers outside of the US, message Drew on social media if you’d like to place an order.

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John Hernandez

John Hernandez is the Editor in Chief of Bear World Magazine. In addition to bear culture, he specializes in entertainment writing with a special focus on horror and genre films. He resides in New York City with his husband.