Posted on May 5th, 2017

Featured Artist 2017 - Adam Sward


Surly is very pleased to announce the winner of our 2017 Featured Artist search: Adam Sward of St. Paul. He will be the man behind the designs for Surlyfest and 2017 Darkness, as well as the art for our 12th Anniversary beer.

(Yes, this is the third Adam to hold the title of Surly Featured Artist. Adam joins fellow Adams Turman and Martin on this august list of illustrators. We cannot explain it, and hope you understand that changing your name to Adam for next year’s search will not increase your chances of winning. Probably.)

(Your featured artist, doing art.)

Adam is a graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and he’s been a staple of the Minneapolis indie comic book scene for nearly ten years. His internationally-published work has teamed him with dozens of bands and comedians, including Jucifer, Thira, Buried Above Ground, Stand Up! Records, KFAI Radio, and the Uptown Theatre. Adam shifted his focus to tattooing a little over five years ago, and he now works at Shahn Anderson’s Electric Dragonland in Hopkins.

“When you look at Adam’s work, it is easy to see why he was the choice,” said Surly Creative Director Michael Berglund. “His designs are right in tune with the Surly brand. After getting to know him and his passion for art, life and beer, we couldn’t have selected a better local artist this time around.”


This was not an easy decision for Berglund and the Surly team to make. More than 340 artists submitted their work, by far the most submissions in the history of the artist search.

“The response this year was unbelievable, and we’re sort of in awe of all the talent we have just in our backyard,” said Surly Owner Omar Ansari. “Adam definitely earned this, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us and Surly Nation.”

Adam lives in St. Paul with his fiance and their pets, and you can find his work at, or keep up with him on Instagram at swarddraws.