Featured Creative: Wheron
As a creative, we can typically find inspiration all around us everyday if we look hard enough. For some of us it’s as easy as peering out our window during our morning commute, walking through our favorite gallery, being out in nature or even strolling through downtown. This week's featured creative uses the method of drawing everyday & staying connected to the art community to become one of the most prolific artists & muralists in Dallas. His work can be seen all over the city & he is one of my personal long time local favorite artists. While he stays incredibly busy he was kind enough to share his story & journey with us. I’m excited & honored that our 10th Featured Creative is Will Heron. Check out his story below.
My name is Will Heron or Wheron. Born & raised in Dallas, Texas. When I was 5, I always had dreams of being a "professional color-er” which is ironic because I mostly stick to a monochromatic black & white pallet. I majored in Studio Art at Austin College in Sherman, Texas & later began teaching at a charter school in northwest Dallas in 2011. I still teach there part-time as the AP Studio Art teacher, this year will be my 9th year there. I started Wheron while teaching art in 2012. My first large scale mural was commissioned by the Erin Cluley Gallery in 2014 & my first solo gallery show at Atama gallery in 2015. Since then, I've been putting my Wheron spin on a variety of canvases from mural walls to pen & ink drawings to Friday the 13th tattoos. My art style is always morphing, but currently is influenced by graphic, high-contrast surrealist illustrations, usually including some cacti & starry illusions. My obsession of cactus not only comes from my Texas roots, but also their seemingly magical property of resurgence/regrowth from brokenness.
Wheron murals can be found all over DFW, from Oak cliff to Fort Worth to Downtown Plano, as well as out of Dallas in Phoenix & Houston. New walls coming up include a mural for Taco Cabana (September 2019) & a fourth mural at The Hill (October 2019).
When I started creating under the moniker "Wheron" in 2012, I really got my start by putting myself & my art out there whenever an opportunity presented itself. Venues such as art markets & artist-calls posted on the web allowed me to connect with other artists & gallerists in DFW. Some of these opportunities became pivotal moments for me whether it be showing art for a month in a local coffee shop & two years later painting a mural for them - times like being invited to show in a gallery & eventually installing my own solo shows in these exact same spaces & galleries. I think it’s super important for any creative type to meet & connect with people in their field. While this helps develop relationships, it can propel an artist’s own creative studio practice & discipline. It also builds the community of creatives & bridges gaps that may typically separate us.
Besides being largely influenced by different species of cacti - as my partner & I have over 100+ types of cactus babies at our home - my art style is influenced by some of the great installation & public-works artists of the past half century. Icons like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol - as well as some of my contemporaries making art here in Dallas & around the world.
My advice for any creative stuck in a rut: first & foremost, keep making your art! I draw every day. While some days are busy or chaotic or uninspired, my studio practice of drawing every day allows me space to always be thinking of new ideas or reflecting on old ones by flipping through my sketchbook. Another piece of advice I tell some of my aspiring art students going off to college: make sure you like the process & outcome of your craft more often than not. If you are not enjoying making/singing/sculpting, no one else will either. It’s okay to experiment. It's okay to fail. Just learn from every step of the process & keep making your art!
Featured upcoming work:
Friday the 13th show at Singleton Tattoo - painted bus with art show inside, 31 Wheron drawn “Friday the 13th” tattoo designs - September 13th
Taco Cabana mural off highway 35 - September 15th - 24th
Wild West Mural Festival - curating a second year of artists to paint in West Dallas October 12th - 19th
New mural at “The Hill” - Walnut Hill & 75 - October 25th - 30th
To Connect with Wheron online:
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