Featured Artist Derick Jackson

Artist Derick Jackson presents a collection of colored pencil portraits that express his passion for creating art. Find more by visiting his website.


color pencil portrait of a deejay

“1s & 2s” colored pencil on paper, 16” x 20”


Looking back, I’ve always been an artist.


color pencil portrait of a young boy wearing his father's cap by Derick Jackson

“Daddy’s Cap” colored pencil on paper, 16” x 20”


As a child, I was really fascinated by colors and shapes. When I wasn’t riding my bike or exploring the nearby woods, I was marveling at the photographs in my National Geographic magazines or trying to replicate the characters in my comic books. Some of my earliest memories are of me down on my hands and knees drawing and coloring. I even recall once, in elementary school, being reprimanded for scribbling cartoon characters in the margins and on the back of my worksheets.


color pencil portrait of a green lady with green hair by Derick Jackson

“Ever Green” colored pencil on paper, 22” x 22”


I loved art and I absolutely loved creating, but then something happened. As I got older, people started asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Being an artist was never discussed. Instead, I was encouraged to be a doctor, or maybe a lawyer—to find something that I could do to become “successful” and make a lot of money. We’ve all heard it in some form or fashion.


color pencil portrait of a man wearing a hat by Derick Jackson

“Follow Me” colored pencil on paper, 18” x 24”


I eventually began to see art as a hobby, instead of a viable career option. Off I went to learn how to get a “good job,” because I did not want to be a “starving artist.”


graphite and charcoal portrait of a little girl getting her hair combed by Derick Jackson

“Blue Magic” charcoal and graphite on paper, 18” x 24”


I began college as a pre-med student, with a major in biology. I was going to be a doctor, or so I thought. The combination of organic chemistry and calculus, however, was enough to change my mind. I realized that I did not have the necessary dedication needed to become a plastic surgeon. I liked math and science, but not enough to endure another ten-plus years of it!


color pencil portrait of a blue woman with a head wrap by Derick Jackson

“Mood” colored pencil on paper, 18” x 24”


As I was venting to a friend one day, he suggested that I check out the art program. I took his advice and made my way to north campus where all of the “Artsy folk” hung out. I entered the art building, felt an immediate connection, and changed my major that day.


color pencil portrait of a lady with her back exposed by Derick Jackson

“Backbone” colored pencil on paper, 16” x 20”


Around that same time, I met and fell in love with a beautiful soul who would later become my wife. During the next four years we married and had three children (two of them while still in school). My carefree college life was gladly replaced by the joy and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.


colored pencil portrait of a sitting man with lunchbox by Derick Jackson

“The Breadwinner” colored pencil on paper, 16” x 20”


After graduation, I went to work “climbing the corporate ladder” and put my art on hold. I was determined to provide for my family. It would be nearly twenty years before I would consistently create again.


color pencil portrait of a sasd an with hands on head by Derick Jackson

“Woke” colored pencil on paper, 18” x 24”


Fast forward to January 2019—I had lost my job and my marriage was on the rocks. It was at this lowest point in my life that I actually found myself and rediscovered art. Although I was initially afraid that my work might not be well received, I pushed through the fear and started drawing again.


Artist Derick Jackson

Artist Derick Jackson


That action ultimately began the healing process. My marriage grew strong again, I know who I am and I know my purpose. I must create that which only I can create, making Derick Jackson Art my most authentic contribution to mankind.


Artist Derick Jackson invites you to follow him on Instagram.


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  1. Interesting style – and I’m fascinated by the texture in your drawings. Most of all, I’m so glad your marriage survived. 🙂

  2. Valerie Gibbons says

    Anyone who can draw like you, Derick, has to be an artist. “Backbone” is beautiful. All your work is extraordinary technically speaking but also extraordinary in the way you’ve captured something unnameable but powerful in each subject. It’s more than emotion; it’s essence. Just breathtaking.

    • Hi Valerie, and thank you so much for those kind words! I really appreciate the your perspective and I’m humbled by your praise…thanks again for reading and taking the time to share. Tell a friend and follow!!

    • Angela Anderson says

      Congrats classmate on the “Recognition” that you truly deserve!

  3. Stephanie L Barnes says

    Congratulations Derick J. On your beautiful creations; each portrait has a meaning we can relate to. You had a plan but God had other plans for you. I’m glad you hung in there and rebuilt your marriage. You have a beautiful family. As soon as I get my living room redone, your black and white art will be well represented here. I’m super proud of you classmate/friend.

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