Artist Derick Jackson presents a collection of colored pencil portraits that express his passion for creating art. Find more by visiting his website.
Looking back, I’ve always been an artist.
As a child, I was really fascinated by colors and shapes. When I wasn’t riding my bike or exploring the nearby woods, I was marveling at the photographs in my National Geographic magazines or trying to replicate the characters in my comic books. Some of my earliest memories are of me down on my hands and knees drawing and coloring. I even recall once, in elementary school, being reprimanded for scribbling cartoon characters in the margins and on the back of my worksheets.
I loved art and I absolutely loved creating, but then something happened. As I got older, people started asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Being an artist was never discussed. Instead, I was encouraged to be a doctor, or maybe a lawyer—to find something that I could do to become “successful” and make a lot of money. We’ve all heard it in some form or fashion.
I eventually began to see art as a hobby, instead of a viable career option. Off I went to learn how to get a “good job,” because I did not want to be a “starving artist.”
I began college as a pre-med student, with a major in biology. I was going to be a doctor, or so I thought. The combination of organic chemistry and calculus, however, was enough to change my mind. I realized that I did not have the necessary dedication needed to become a plastic surgeon. I liked math and science, but not enough to endure another ten-plus years of it!
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As I was venting to a friend one day, he suggested that I check out the art program. I took his advice and made my way to north campus where all of the “Artsy folk” hung out. I entered the art building, felt an immediate connection, and changed my major that day.
Around that same time, I met and fell in love with a beautiful soul who would later become my wife. During the next four years we married and had three children (two of them while still in school). My carefree college life was gladly replaced by the joy and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.
After graduation, I went to work “climbing the corporate ladder” and put my art on hold. I was determined to provide for my family. It would be nearly twenty years before I would consistently create again.
Fast forward to January 2019—I had lost my job and my marriage was on the rocks. It was at this lowest point in my life that I actually found myself and rediscovered art. Although I was initially afraid that my work might not be well received, I pushed through the fear and started drawing again.
That action ultimately began the healing process. My marriage grew strong again, I know who I am and I know my purpose. I must create that which only I can create, making Derick Jackson Art my most authentic contribution to mankind.
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