Marcellus Lewis – Artist Spotlight

Marcellus Lewis - Artist Spotlight

Jordan Myers, Reporter

Marcellus Lewis has been creating art ever since he was first introduced to it by his mother at a young age.  Now a senior at Sahuaro, he has learned how to paint designs on both shoes and canvas. “I remember being in elementary school, so excited for library time so that I could pester the librarian about new drawing books they had and that’s kind of how my fascination with art started,” he said. “My schoolwork always had doodles all over them, sometimes more than actual work!”

A painting done by Marcellus’ mother, who has had a great influence on him through her own art expertise

He finds a lot of inspiration within art-related posts on social media and when he is experiencing an artist’s block, his socials are exactly what he turns to. “Honestly, social media inspires me a lot when it comes to doing art, I’ll see something done and then I’m like “hmm I want something similar to this,” and then I’ll do my best to put my own spin on it.”

“My art is something I take some sort of pride in, I’m a very detail-oriented artist, especially when it comes to painting shoes,” he said. “It’s sort of a blessing and curse at the same time.”

Marcellus desires the finest lines possible, that’s why it’s important for him to relax as much as he can while painting such small patterns.

“My lines will come out clean due to me wanting nothing but perfection, but when I mess up it sometimes demotivates me because if I can see it, so can everyone else. I always tell myself that,” he admitted.

“Most of the time I’m able to fix the mistakes, other times I feel it’s best to scrap it and start over. When I feel the pressure of making sure the line work and patterns are neat and clean, I just sit back and relax because if you think about it too much your hands will begin to shake.”

“Confidence is another important thing when it comes to line work. If I approach a project with any sort of hesitation, there’s no doubt I’ll end up having to go back and fix it later. I will usually hold my breath whenever I’m painting something intricate,” he said.

Besides art, Marcellus likes collecting sneakers and nice clothes as well as making customizations to them. “I love both art and sneakers so being able to combine them drew me to doing customizations.”

Painting on shoes can be rather difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is why it is important to use a specific paint for whatever fabric the shoes are made of. “Depending on the pair of shoes, I usually use leather paints because they dry with the same leathery texture, they’re waterproof, and when applied correctly they are scratch resistant as well. When working with shoes that aren’t leather, I use additives that change the texture and the how the paint reacts when applied so that they work with different materials,” he elucidated.

“To me, my art is a way to prove to myself that I can do whatever I put my mind to, even if I’m struggling with a block and unsure of what to do next. My main artist block that I deal with is myself. I’m extremely hard on myself when it comes to painting, if I mess up I’ll get irritated and put it down for a while until I feel like continuing. Like I said, it’s both a blessing and a curse because when a project is hard, you will likely end up with a dope finished product, but sometimes it’s far from that,” he said.

Marcellus’ words of advice for any artist struggling to find the inspiration to create art are: “Don’t rush anything, I personally only do art when I know exactly what I want to do, I never force myself. So if you’re struggling to come up with something new and different, just chill and maybe scroll through your socials because you just might find the inspiration you’re looking for if you’re looking in the right places.”

After Marcellus graduates in May of 2021, he plans on taking the next steps that are neccesary to be well on his way to creating his own clothing brand and eventually his own store.