My name is Marqel Wilson. I am a 19-year-old artist born and raised in colorado. The type of art I do is categorized as hyperrealism art. I fell in love with art the moment I saw my mom’s pictures she did as a kid. I was astonished by how real it looked and just the amount of detail she displayed. It blew my mind that you could use a pencil to make something look so life-like, and ever since that moment, I’ve fallen in love with hyperrealism art.
Many artists have a specific piece or “magnum opus” that they truly believe is some of their greatest work. Do you have any piece that fits that description for you right now, and if so, can you explain the significance of it?
I feel my best piece, or my magnum opus would be my most recent piece that I’ve completed. I would declare it to be my best piece because of how I was able to bring it to life with detailing and using new techniques inspired by different artists.
Inspiration can sometimes be hard to seek out. When that happens, how do you usually deal with the “Artist’s Block?”
Overcoming the artist block has been my biggest challenge. For me, I have to clear my mind and find new ways for inspiration. Some days it could be as simple as a song that touches my soul, or maybe it can be another work of art I find breathtaking. Most recently, I had to take a break and enjoy nature, going for walks and just seeing the beautiful creations around me, and seeing how intricate and precise god’s creation is has helped me find my creative spirit.
The Arts have been an incredible tool to convey personal and cultural themes. What message do you want to convey and have people to think about when they see your work?
When it comes to my art, I try to convey a message through emotions. When making a new piece, I try to feel or see the emotion of what I am drawing so I know how I want to capture it. Each picture conveys a different emotion, whether sad, happy, or depressed. The look on a person’s face can say a lot more than words. So when people see my art, they may be affected in different ways based on the emotion they see and can relate with.
It goes without saying that the Arts have been an instrumental tool to the Black Struggle and Civil Rights as a whole. What has been your experience as a Black Artist and how do you channel that experience into your work?
My experience as a black artist has been very up and down. As a young black artist, I get looked at as somebody who won’t amount to anything or someone who has no potential, basically seen as a stereotype. But when they see my art, it’s different. The way they view my work with astonishment and utter surprise makes being a black artist even better. Making art that people view as powerful and very motivating makes the bitter-sweet moments feel small. Learning how to deal with that adversity and seeing how one art piece can change a person’s mindset about you is always a surprise and makes this journey as a young black artist worth it.
What or who are the greatest inspirations that have pushed you to become a better artist?
My greatest inspiration that pushes me to become a better artist is my mom. The moment she saw my potential with art, she pushed me to be consistent and very detail-oriented. Even to this day, if she sees something that will make my art better, she spares no expense to let me know, and that is why she’s my greatest inspiration.
There are a lot of inspiring young Black Artists out there with dreams of reaching the skills that you have. Do you have any advice or lessons that you want to pass on to the younger generation about being an artist?
From one young artist to another, the advice I would offer is to be a constant learner, accept failure, and learn from it. Each artist has failed somehow, but what separates good artists from great artists is the ability to see where you failed and improve. There is always something you can learn to make yourself a better artist. So never get too comfortable with where you are and aim to learn, improve, and be better than you were yesterday.
What process do you go through when creating art? What are the steps you take to ensure that the idea you have is illustrated perfectly?
When creating a new piece, my first step is finding what exactly I want to draw. Each piece I do, I try to bring to life the best I can, so finding a model or maybe an actor or even a portrait that has to be done having a great reference picture is the most important part of bringing my art to life. Once I have a solid reference picture, the most important part of creating a new piece is the outline. The outline takes me hours, depending on how big the piece is due to the amount of detail I need to have for more realistic pieces I have to do.
How have you expanded your collector base and developed your career as an artist?
Promotion is a very big thing in the art world or even in the entrepreneur world. To sell your art on a big scale, your name has to be known. For me to expand a collector base and move forward in my career as an artist, I self-promote. If I am out and about, I talk to people and mention what I do or even go to different retail stores to see if they would be interested in purchasing one of my pieces. Being social, active, and staying up to date with the latest trends is the best way to gain a more prominent following.
Art is a constantly changing medium with new trends seemingly coming out of nowhere. How do you keep up with these trends?
Navigating this art world as a young artist, I find it easier to keep up with new trends. Art has evolved in many different ways, and the best way to evolve with it is to be aware of the direction art is going in. Being socially active and a trendsetter helps you grow with the new and evolving mediums. Learning to be creative and think out of the box, along with gaining inspiration from new artists, helps keep your art relevant.
Do you have any new pieces that you are currently working on that you would like to preview or mention? Can you explain the significance of that piece?
A new piece that I am working on is a wedding gift for my auntie. My aunt wanted an original piece done by me, so I wanted to think out of the box and do something different. The piece that I am currently working on is of a unique female model. I decided to do one of her based on her look and the aesthetic of the photo. I felt I could bring the picture to life in my own way to make something beautiful and vibrant.