- Pamela Harris Lawton
Updated: Mar 10
Artist in the making. In October 2022, had a chance to sit down with MICA Campus Safety personnel, Mezerahyah. Each morning upon entering Lazarus, I noticed him intently drawing and was curious to know more.
I asked him a few questions about his interest in art.
I started working here in 2017, I started drawing at the end of 2019, so I guess those creative energies just were bestowed upon me, all of the creative energies just came into me at once [he is also a musician]. I’ll just be consistent with what I’m doing ---and wah lah—here we are.
I really don’t have early memories [of making art], because I really didn’t think about making art when I was younger. I would doodle, but it would be like regular stick figures. My earliest memories [of artmaking] are when I was about 25 [he’s 28 now].
I never had a huge interest in drawing, ever, until I was 25. I think the interest came from when I realized that I could basically do anything [if I was determined and devoted to doing it]. I just realized that I could do anything. I just never gave myself the chance. I had to really revamp my whole life and just start from scratch. I realized I could do this. I had never put any effort into doing anything. I just said, I’m gonna start drawing. That’s something I just kinda wanted to do, because I always marveled at other people’s art [working at MICA] that’s what triggered it [his interest]. I never had any talent, [everyone’s got talent] I just had to find it.
Who/what influenced you—made you want to try the approaches to drawing that you use?
I think part of that is just me waiting my turn. Even though we all have gifts, I didn’t think that I had gifts. So, I wasn’t mad about that, but when I came to terms with what my true gift is, giving to people [others] and I accepted that…being that person that people come to, to relate to, that was a gift in itself and once I accepted that then all the other gifts came..all the gifts that people deem as gifts. The ones we take for granted are the ones we don’t really see in ourselves.
So, in terms of the tools you use, this is very detailed work, stippling, etc. had you ever done this before?
I had never done this before. Pencil and graphite were getting a little repetitive, so I just wanted to try something new [stippling, ink, ballpoint pen] and I feel like stippling/pointillism, the shading is a lot easier to do than graphite where you have to keep erasing. It’s therapeutic actually. It does take long, but it requires patience.
So, you haven’t had any formal [art] training?
No formal training. No one taught me. I did teach myself, but I never want to give all the credit to myself, cause I do believe in the Father, God most high, so I believe He was guiding me to draw and how to do things. It was a lot to it, learning the shapes of things and how to approach every part of the face, cause I am a portrait artist.
What’s the next challenge for you? Have you thought about working with color?
That’s a good question. This [drawing] is the safe spot. I’m not patient with color pencils, I have thought about making a painting. I was talking to the students about making a painting. I did get inspired by the students making a large portrait. It looks like a lot of fun to do. So, I do want to do that. I have some inspiration about how I want to paint. I want to come at it big, I want to start off with a big portrait.
Would you like to take classes here [MICA]?
I would love to take classes. I’m doing so many things, and I have to find the time and the space. I wanna come at it [classes] strong. I don’t want to play with it, it’s not a game to me.
What’s next on the horizon?
I would like to paint and that is something I would need somebody to teach to me.