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Creative Writing

Local artist Derrick Hickman transforms text into stunning art.

Lebanon-based artist Derrick Hickman knew he was an artist from an early age. His childhood was filled with a stock of art supplies and plenty of support from his family.

“I was fortunate to have a family that encouraged the notion of becoming an artist,” Derrick explains.  

His inspired childhood led him to earn his Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) in Illustration and Advertising from The Columbus College of Art and Design, and a BFA in Art Education from Ohio University. Today he does design work, client communication and marketing during the day, with a preference for painting in the evening.

After getting into a regular painting schedule over the past ten years, he developed two very different styles that he alternates between. His text abstraction series began in 2001, when he started putting abstracted words to canvas with unique color palettes and line distortion.

“The first text painting happened organically,” Derrick shares. “The idea being to create a large rambling snippet of personal narrative that described my earliest memory attached to creating art.”

The series he calls “Textographies” has been successful and his paintings are now commissioned based. Recently, art consultant Chelsea Tucker Moore contacted him about presenting his art for a new mural to be located in East Walnut Hills, as part of the Woodburn Exchange Development. The mural project will begin once construction of the building is completed. For this project, Derrick will be transforming a poem to visually translate the developers' vision of the community. It will be his second commissioned mural to be completed based on his text abstraction work, the first was for a Columbus-based coffee shop.

His other painting focus is on his vintage toy series. These painted works are typically shown in galleries and sold directly to collectors.  

“The duality of the two different styles provides me with a nice balance and keeps the work from becoming tiresome,” Derrick says. 

When not creating art, Derrick enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. They share creative activities and enjoy visiting galleries, traveling and competing to be the funniest person in the house.   

For more information, visit DerrickHickmanArts.com.

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