Art is not simply made, but created

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jaeda Tookes
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class James W. Landrum IV, 341st Medical Operations Squadron medical aerospace technician, has been an artist since childhood.

"I have been drawing since I was 6 years old," said Landrum. "I can remember my art teacher getting me started drawing different cartoon characters. I was fascinated by how comics 'drew' the story."

Having such an attraction to art should come as no surprise, as Landrum is part of a long line of artists. His great-grandfather, James W. Landrum I, was an artist during the Harlem Renaissance.

The Harlem Renaissance was the artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York, from the end of World War I to the middle of the 1930s, as a cultural center for African-American writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets and scholars.

"There are good artists on my father's side of the family," said Landrum.

According to Landrum, art has played a large role in his family's history, as well as his own growth as an artist. His most memorable creations have been centered on his family.

"The first memorable portrait I created was of my mother's baby picture, and the second was a portrait of myself and my little sister," said Landrum. "I believe that was my peak when I was drawing in black and white."

Landrum said he gained experience by picking up drawing tricks along the way.

"I can recall what really helped me was when we had to draw random objects on a table," said Landrum. "My art teacher told me to draw everything I saw. I drew the shadows, the shading and the light that bounced off of the objects."

Landrum creates portraits with colored and lead pencils most of the time, however he also uses other mediums to create art. 

"I also create tattoo and computer designs," said Landrum. "I get my inspiration from my past, and different people who have helped develop me as a person."

Landrum took a break from drawing in middle school and picked it back up in high school. He said he regrets taking that break.

"Experience is the best teacher," said Landrum. "Never stick to one form of art, and never ever stop. Artwork is never done, only abandoned, to surrender completely."