8 Years & The Art of Practice – A Retrospective
8 Years & The Art of Practice – A Retrospective

8 Years & The Art of Practice – A Retrospective

Learning How to Keep Making Art is Crucial

The greatest skill that an artist can develop — learning how to consistently practice & make work. I’m not even kidding! As artists, we face an enormous amount of obstacles that prevent us from making art. Slow progress, little time, poor resources, chronic health conditions, and turbulent mental energy are just a handful that I had to personally tackle. The hardest part is building up the habit of making work. Small, but frequent commitments are your best friend in the beginning. If you can offer up 15 minutes each and every day despite having the “don’t wants”, you’ll be surprised how often those 15 minutes turn into an hour or so once warmed up. You got this!

Consistent Practice & Life Experiences have Evolved My Artwork

2015 | 19 Years Old

lex r thomas graphite sketch of person levitating with symbols floating around themlex r thomas graphite drawing of dancer in ballet dress reaching upwards the art of practice







Key life moments:

  • Moved out of my childhood home in Kaplan, Louisiana into an apartment in Lafayette, Louisiana.
  • Attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • Switched majors from Music Education to Visual Arts.

2016 | 20 Years Old

lex r thomas original ink drawing abstract illustration of triangle with stars inside surrounded by plants lex r thomas ink illustration of person smoking with kaleidoscope psychedelic colored hair








Key life moments:

  • Attended instructed figure drawing classes with Camille Banuchi at Achilles Print Studio.
  • First group exhibition during Lafayette’s 2nd Saturday Artwalk at Gallery 333.
  • Starts working primarily in India Ink & Pen.
  • Decided to quit attending traditional school, and continue down the path of being a self-taught artist.
  • Completed first Inktober.

2017 | 21 Years Old

lex r thomas graphite self portrait of sad bust of a person in curly linework wearing crown lex r thomas ink illustration of nude figure facing away looking into abstract portal








Key life moments:

  • Moved back to my hometown Kaplan, Louisiana.
  • Entered a severe dissociative episode.
  • Traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to explore one of the largest concentrations of artists in the United States.
  • Decided to pursue a career in psychology with a focus in neuroscience.
  • Started attending Arizona State University’s online psychology undergraduate program.
  • Still making work in-between working as a barista and full-time student.

2018 | 22 Years Old

lex r thomas inktober ink illustration of artist smoking with linework and clean diamonds lex r thomas ink illustration self portrait of person smoking with swirling third eye against black and yellow abstract background








Key life moments:

  • Received my first set of commissions.
  • Chronic joint pain starts interfering with day-to-day life.
  • Yellow & geometric inkworks become a cohesive pattern.

2019 | 23 Years Old

lex r thomas ink drawing self portrait of person standing against geometric lines with various hands the art of practice lex r thomas ink illustration of dressed figure standing in desert with space and planets replacing face







Key life moments:

  • Biggest commission year to date.
  • Sold first original piece.
  • Painted 3′ by 4′ “Garden of the Gods” a commissioned landscape.
  • Visited Colorado Springs & saw Garden of the Gods landmark in person.

2020 | 24 Years Old

lex r thomas ink self portrait of strong emotional crying face looking upwards at eye surrounded by yellow flowers and floating hand lex r thomas original ink and gouache painting of nude figure standing tall with hands on hips with gold leading lines








Key life moments:

  • Covid pandemic begins.
  • Graduates from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.
  • Quits barista job, and remained unemployed through the majority of the year.
  • Being unable to find a job related to my degree, returning to retail work in the late fall.

2021 | 25 Years Old

lex r thomas inktober illustration of nude person with arms contorted upwards mushrooms are growing out of fingers and body lex r thomas surrealist ink drawing of person floating in the void with minimal curved lineart in background








Key life moments:

  • Entered roll of manager in my retail work for the first time.
  • Diagnosed with Covid-19 in the late fall which exaggerates previous health problems related to joint pain and chronic fatigue.
  • Unable to perform my roll as manager post-Covid, and steps down.

2022 | 26 Years Old

lex r thomas original acrylic painting of person in hospital gown walking through thick green forest holding belly








Key life moments:

  • Finishes “Recovery” the first of my inspired acrylic paintings.
  • Exhibits at a group show for the first time since 2016 at the Hallway Gallery on Garfield Street.
  • Transitions from retail to full time freelancing work.
  • Begins planning work for solo exhibition titled “The Human Condition”
  • Sells original work during the Art Spark 12×12 Online Auction.
  • Acceptance into first Juried Exhibition.

2023 | 27 Years Old

Check back in — the story is still being written! 🙂





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