A portrait in honor of John Lewis

Drawing of representative John Lewis

“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” ~ John Lewis

Drawing of representative John Lewis

I was taught to not get in trouble. A chronic people pleaser for many years. My teens were spent running at full speed between friends, sports, school. Doing my best, behaving, not making trouble.

My 20’s were spent Mothering, giving all of myself to another, then having to reclaim my own needs and voice.

My 30’s were spent questioning everything. Every life rule, organizations, the intent and unintended negatives of even the best-intentioned groups, religions, identities. This time was spent grieving, learning who I am in this world without my mom by my side.

My 40’s so far are being spent putting life back together in the most loving, powerful, change making way possible. This quote above from John Lewis makes my heart sing with permission. Permission to march, call out negative, be kind. be sexy. be fun. Also, permission to not smile or be fun and permission to not ask for permission.

John Lewis portrait

My heart sunk when I heard the news of John Lewis’ passing. The way this many put his actions into motion and led with them and not just talk is to be learned from in our current world.

I’ve been wanting to draw John Lewis for months (years). But finally have done so over the last few days.

It’s been my honor to pay tribute to this Civil Rights Leader, Representative John Lewis.

artwork of John Lewis


This artwork was completed in colored pencil on bristol paper, July 20, 2020. Rest in Peace sir.


PS – You can find a bunch of great quotes from John Lewis here.