Lakeem Wilson (born 1991) is best known for his narrative and thought provoking paintings and illustrations that provides social commentary about the urban experience. His use of different mediums such as acrylic paint, prism color markers, and watercolor allow him to effectively create artwork that tells a story. Born in South Dallas, Tx in 1991, he went on to earn his BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Lakeem draw from different moments of his life experiences as a youth, as well as common stories from urban communities, hip hop music, and popular culture that makes his perspective on art unique and engaging. “My creative expression comes from the same places that created me,” he has said. “Imagination is the most valuable thing you can have when you lack resources”. With emphasis on cultural depiction and raw expression of the reality he perceive, his work has been described as culturally relevant, authentic, and gives a powerful voice to social commentary on topics such as the african american and urban experience. Some of Lakeem’s biggest art influences are legendary artist such as Earnie Barnes, Kadir Nelson, Frank Morrison, and Norman Rockwell just to name a few. The exploration of a hyperrealism and over emphasized style can be found vividly in his artwork.
This book is a visual teaching tool designed to help young children grow into successful adults and future leaders. Success doesn’t require financial wealth and riches. Success is the development of internal, moral characteristics that enable an individual get to whatever he or she wants in life. The purpose of this book is to restore pride and dignity in the minds of children while providing a resource that helps them solve their own problems. This book teaches optimism and inspires ambition as kids pursue a life of integrity and leadership.
HOW THE BOOK CAME ABOUT
The idea for this book started from a conversation with my parents. I told them that I wanted to illustrate a book that would help kids learn life lessons and character building. I asked my mom “What is some advice that you would give to kids about becoming successful adults?” That conversation led to my parents and I creating a long list of advice from their years of experience in raising all of her kids and grandkids including myself. The advice that they came up with was wise and authentic.