Stu was born in the Bronx, New York in 1937. At age five, he started drawing the profiles of German bombers so he could help spot them if they attacked New York City. Seven years and stacks of school posters later, his 8th grade art teacher persuaded his parents to let him apply to the High School of Industrial Art (SIA), now known as the HS of Art & Design, in Manhattan. He was accepted at SIA, and leaving his home turf for the first time, he spent the next four years among young, aspiring “commercial artists” from all over NYC.
Rather than a local liberal arts college, Stu set his sights on either Cooper Union or Pratt Institute, schools that would nurture his talent and expand his artistic horizons, while providing him with a “college education.” He opted for Pratt and was admitted to the school of Graphic Arts and Illustration in September, 1954.
Stu met his wife to be, Paula Rosenfeld, an advertising major, in his junior year, and graduated from Pratt in 1958 with a BFA degree. With a major transition from illustration to photography happening in advertising and publishing, there were few if any opportunities available for fledgling illustrators. And after a few months of pounding the pavement, Stu had to change course, and found a job as an assistant art director at a B to B magazine publishing company. There, under the tutelage of his boss, also a Pratt graduate, Stu learned the “tools of the art direction trade”, and within a year was appointed art director. During that period, he and Paula were married in April, 1959.
Shortly afterward, Stu left the publishing company to join a brand new sales promotion design firm (Larry Kerbs Studio). Here, he broadened his design skills to include corporate identification, collateral, packaging, and advertising. He also nurtured his love of drawing and painting with evening classes in contemporary illustration at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Stu was with the studio for nine years, rising to the position of V.P. before leaving in 1970 to join Paula in her own start-up sales promotion agency, Herman Associates.
Stu and Paula’s partnership spanned 44 years, during which Herman Associates evolved into an integrated marketing communications agency whose services include advertising, graphic design, e-marketing, website development, and marketing consultation. And in 2007, HA formed a separate public relations division. As a result of the agency’s heavy involvement in the travel and tourism industry, Stu and Paula were privileged to travel extensively around the world. And that experience has had a profound impact on his painting.
Today, Stu Herman resides in Manhattan, and continues to be a principal of Herman Associates. He was married to Paula for 54 years, before her passing in 2014, and has two daughters, and four grandchildren, of whom he is immensely proud.