The Art and Illustrations of Micah Lewis
By Derrick White
“I continually push myself to try a new medium or style, or just simply work harder with what I’ve got. I’ve grown to love studies in my sketchbooks and understand the importance of slowing down for a bit and working out the kinks or just wrapping my mind around how to draw something,” states local artist Micah Lewis. In my career as an art professor at TJC, I work with many students who aspire to become professional artists. After decades of instructing, I have found the most important qualities in making the dream of living as a professional artist come true are dedication and perseverance. Those who are truly dedicated to their art and process will succeed and they persist through all setbacks.
Micah Lewis is one such devoted artist living and working from the red brick streets in downtown Tyler. My first introduction to Micah was through a Facebook page coordinating Free Art Fridays encouraging participants to place or seek hidden art in downtown Tyler and beyond. We have connected through social media, and I have had the pleasure of meeting her in real life at local establishments. Through her posts and comments one can conclude she is a fun, determined, dedicated, persistent and successful artist. In addition to being a professional artist, Micah is also a committed wife and mother. Her web site describes Micah as, “a self-taught artist who finds beauty in all of God’s creation, particularly in people… and coffee. Having a heart for creativity from a young age, she draws inspiration from tattoo art, comic books, or old Godzilla movies. Additionally, she has a peculiar knack for portraits where she can capture the natural emotion present in each subject.”
“My formal training was limited to half a semester of art during my sophomore year of high school. Somehow, I ended up in a class full of students just attempting to fill a credit. It was a disruptive environment in which the other students regularly sabotaged my projects. So, my path has been one of self-learning with trial and error,” says Lewis. Micah’s art is influenced by comic book art and executed through her unique surrealist lens. She considers her style of art lowbrow and also enjoys painting watercolor portraits. She states, “Four years ago, if someone told me I would love watercolor and use it almost daily, I would not have believed it. I used to loathe watercolor. It didn’t seem like there was a lot of control. It just wasn’t as smooth as I like. When I revisited the concept after a few years I fell in love. I really and truly enjoy creating with watercolor. In achieving a variety of line weights, I use a Pentel pocket brush pen (typically used for calligraphy). I love the contrast inking gives my pieces. It pulls the soft washes together with bolder, inconsistent lines.”
Like many artists, Micah can trace her inspiration back to childhood. “It’s difficult to pinpoint. The earliest drawings I recall were on the inside cover of the coloring books my sisters and I had. Coloring a picture felt like more of a chore to me. So, I just drew my own pictures on the blank inner covers. Sorry, Lisa Frank! When I got a bit older, I kept a sketchbook. It just became a part of who I am. It is shocking to me I became a professional artist. It still baffles me. I remember telling people I wanted to be an artist when I grew up as early as first grade, and maybe I was just too stubborn to not make it happen,” states the artist.
For Micah, dedication and perseverance in her art means growth. She explains, “I can always learn, study, and work towards improvement. Finding a voice is difficult; especially given the understanding your audience may never quite comprehend the images in your mind and the emotions accompanying those images. I think it is pretty easy to pander to your audience with the pressure for success but creating, for me, was never meant to be superficial. The intent of art is communication, and communication on a deep level of who we are and the emotions driving us as people. Art should be a connection, but not a cheap one. I still have to remind myself of this from time to time and just strive to be authentic.”
Micah Lewis finds inspiration in the work of other artists, citing one of her favorites is Berlinde de Bruyckere (a Belgian contemporary artist sculpting unsettling forms in various media including wax, wood, wool, horse skin and hair. She also works in watercolor). “I hope one day I have the opportunity to meet her or just experience one of her installations in person. Her ability to sculpt with wax, wood, and natural fibers is pure wizardry and you’ll never convince me otherwise. I have a copy of her book, “In the Woods There Were Chainsaws.” The pages are yellowed and warped and the spine has a gash in it, but it’s only because I’ve loved it so dang much. I draw so much inspiration from her dedication to detail,” exclaims Lewis.
Micah’s life and art career are very busy with multiple upcoming projects. “This summer, I will be working on a few murals around Tyler, one for Strada Caffè and I am also working on a few murals at True Vine Brewing Company in their new location (2453 Earl Campbell Pkwy) and later this year, I’m excited to curate my first show for The Foundry Coffee House in downtown Tyler. Submissions will start in November and the show will open in January. I’m excited to meet new artists and take on this new role. Interested artists should follow the Foundry Coffee House’s Facebook page for more information as it becomes available. Locally, you can find Micah’s original artworks and prints available for purchase at El Guapo Records, Strada Caffè, The Foundry, and Moss just to name a few local love friendly places.
You can follow the art, projects and progress of Micah Lewis at:
Commission or collaboration requests can be filled out via the contact form on Micah Lewis’ web site. I recommend you commit yourself to looking through and purchasing some of these dedicated young warrior’s creations for your very own.
Family Friendly Classic Car Event Coming September 22nd – Mark the Date!
4th Annual “Cruisin’ for a Cause” Classic Car and Truck Show
Saturday, September 22nd, 9am-1pm, the 4th Annual “Cruisin’ for a Cause” Classic Car and Truck Show will be held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 13590 Hwy 110 S., in Tyler.
This family friendly event will feature not only classic cars and trucks and music but also food trucks and merchandise. It is free to attend.
Registration is open to classic cars, trucks – all makes, model and years are welcome. There is a $15 entry fee per vehicle.
September 21st: BBQ Battle & Ribeye Roundup
Shoot To Salute with BBQ Battle & Ribeye Roundup
Put your shooting or cooking skills to the test or simply just come and enjoy some great food for an even greater cause!
Friday, September 21st, there will be a Steak Cook Off. Saturday, September 22nd, there will be a friendly sporting clay shoot, sanctioned International BBQ Cookers Association “IBCA” cook-off, games, raffles, and live DJ.
This will benefit Lone Star Warriors Outdoors, A Texas Non-Profit Organization
Lone Star Warriors Outdoors was founded by Retired Army and Combat Veteran Chris Gill. In 2011, a program was created focusing on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. Helping combat injured warriors fight PTSD, and working with suicide prevention. The goal of LSWO is to get those warriors back out doing what they love, or teaching them a new sport and allowing them the time with other combat vets to talk and feel apart of a team again.
This will be held at 6S Ranch, 8159 CR 313W in Lindale. For more info go to: lonestarwarriorsoutdoors.com.
Tyler Firefighters Association, Tee Off For Toys: Sept. 24th
8th Annual Tee Off For Toys
You are invited to sponsor or play in the 8th Annual “Tee Off for Toys” Golf Tournament Monday, September 24th, 9am-6pm at the beautiful and scenic Hideaway Lake Golf Course in Lindale.
Hosted by the Tyler Professional Firefighters Association, this four-player scramble benefits The Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program.
Each player is also asked to bring an unwrapped toy ($10 and up value) with them on tournament day.
Prizes will be given for 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, closest to the pin, and longest drive.
For information or to register go to salvationarmytexas.org/tyler/tee-off-for-toys/ or email email@example.com.
Tyler TX: Live Music Guide
Make a Splash This Summer at The Waterpark at The Villages Resort
Fall Fun in East Texas: Fall Festival Guide 2018
Let’s Get Outdoors: Unique Local Places to Explore
Chill Out With a Good Book
Keep an Eye Out: School “Fundraisers” That Will Drain Your Funds
Family Friendly Classic Car Event Coming September 22nd – Mark the Date!
“Apertures of the Mind: Works by Abhidnya Ghuge” at TMA
6th Annual Art of Peace: Day of Kids, Concerts & More
October 13th, Award-Winning Band MercyMe in Concert
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