When Life Gives you Lemons...

Life has dealt Jared Wilson a few curves, but they have only served to make the artist bolder.

| by Courtney Dabney | The pastor’s kid who grew up in both Arlington and Aledo is a two-time cancer survivor, and spent six months homeless and living in a van after college.

Wilson suffered a scorching sunburn as a 2-year-old, which may have paved the way to three different surgeries to remove skin cancers beginning around the age of 27. He also survived a rare form of melanoma of the eye just 11 years ago. Amazingly, his vision was not impaired. Wilson doesn’t take a moment for granted today, and such hardships have only improved his work ethic. The sun itself may have been his enemy, but light and color remain some of his truest friends.

He was introduced to his chosen medium of Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils by a high school art teacher and perfected his skills while studying art at Midwestern State University. “I fell in love with it,” Wilson says. “It is a young medium but with a growing reputation. They blend so well, and you can layer many colors together to pull out every detail of your subject.”

Wilson’s subject matter focuses on Texas culture and wildlife. He says, “It is my goal to romanticize what I see. Like a camera, I try to get the eye to focus on the story that I am trying to tell.” In much of his artwork, the focal point in the foreground appears crystal clear while the objects in the background tend to recede from view.
His compositions depict photo-realistic details but do not always begin with a photograph for reference. Many come completely from his imagination. “It is my creative interpretation,” he says.

While homeless, Wilson wrote and illustrated a children’s book called Shoe Fly, Don’t Bother Me about an outcast fly looking for a new home. “I think a good children’s book should be enjoyed by parents and children alike. The moral of the story is one of love and acceptance.” As an artist, Wilson’s experiences have certainly found a voice in his creative vision. To see his work, visit jaredpaulwilson.com.