AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-based artist and illustrator Lakeem Wilson is using his studio at the University of Texas to create portraits of members of the community.

  • Wilson is artist-in-residence at UT
  • He is a UT grad
  • Wilson’s art tells stories

It’s part of the university’s spring 2019 artist-in-residence program. The program provides a stipend and an on-campus studio.

Wilson, a UT grad, runs Natural Born Studios. He says his company aims to help others discover their natural-born gifts. The studio’s latest project the Embodiment Series, has three elements.

 “The first element is the negative space that surrounds us on a daily basis,” said Wilson.

The second element is the silhouette.

“The silhouette is what people see on the surface area,” Wilson said. “The third element is the inner story. The inner story is what we embody inside that people don’t necessarily see on the surface area, but it’s what we really embody and experience as humans on a daily basis.”

To create the work, Wilson projects light over a live model in his studio. He then traces the figure’s outline onto paper. Each piece contains details that tell the story of the person he painted.

Wilson says he hopes the project inspires people to read more into the artwork, instead of just looking at it.

“I deal with a lot of visual literacy, so along with the images themselves, I also put a lot of text and words and things to where people can literally read the artwork,” said Wilson. “I like to make artwork that speaks about the times and I also like to make artwork that has a narrative within it.”

At the end of his residency, Wilson plans hold an exhibition to share the work with the Austin community.


Art by Lakeem Wilson (Spectrum News)
Art by Lakeem Wilson (Spectrum News)