Born into the urban city of South Dallas, Texas in 1991, Lakeem was drawn to art as a young man when he first saw images of black superheroes in comic books. Inspired by the urban city, Hip-hop, and public school art classes in the early 2000’s, he taught himself how to express his thoughts through visual art and drawing in his notepads. Despite his lack of professional training, he found employment by selling and trading his art services, and doing tattoos in the community, which introduced him to the value of being an entrepreneur. Lakeem quickly developed a style that would make him one of the most celebrated illustrated artists of his age, allowing him to change the idea of diversity in the art industry, while creating remarkably expressive images that consistently explores the social and economical impact of art with urban narratives.
“I saw that my talent could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against false politics, against all sorts of social wrongs, I knew at that point I had to be an artist”
When he graduated high school in 2010, he was accepted into the Art Program at The University of Texas at Austin and became a freelance artist, all while balancing school work, student organizations, and studio art classes. With his passion for illustrating social issues during the former times of the “Obama Age” (2008 - 2016) he was able to be an impactful voice for the culture. His 2019 illustrated project “The Embodiment Series” (The 3 elements of self) won him widespread acclaim as one of the most prominent professional illustrated artists of his decade, chronicling subjects related to police brutality, women empowerment, and unity in urban environments. As well as painted memorable pictures of celebrities including Barack Obama, Nipsey Hussle, and Jay Z. His most famous images such as Hidden America (2018) and Keep Your Coins (2014) captures the essence of activism through illustration style painted images in our twenty first century America and has become iconic images, defining the era for later generations to come. His art also rallies support for black businesses and fosters entrepreneurship for which Lakeem himself is an advocate for freelance creating and independent thinkers.
“I no longer identify with the term “wanna be”
from now on I am a “gonna be”
Lakeem spends much of his recent time expanding his lifestyle. He continues to work, acquiring numerous awards and opportunities including his spring artist in residency opportunity at The University of Texas’s College of Fine Arts Center for African and African Diaspora (2019) and selected as one of the top 3 finalists for Dame Dash’s 24 hour streaming network artist episode, “Got It Covered” in Burbank California (2019). He’s also a noted author, in 2016 he became one of the first illustrators to design a children’s book collaboration with his parents titled “Future Leaders” (What Kids Need To Know to Become Successful Adults). This was later followed by his original self published NaturalBorn Illustrated Art Collection book (2019). The core of his accomplishments however are yet to come. His pristine quality and enduring national significance is reflected through public exhibitions and his online art collection at LakeemWilson.com
Lakeem supports artistic and educational activities that advance “the common search for a better life and a better world.”