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A little about Leonard Willis 

Leonard (Willis) Willis Jr's love for drawing was born out of his love for semi tractor trailers. Pulled out of school at the fifth-grade, his dad made him work like a grown man, introducing Willis to heavy machinery. But as he grew older, having his youth spent at hard labor—stifling his creative nature—brought emotional pain which led drugs. Addiction led to crime.

In prison, bored, and missing that freedom big rigs offered him over the open road, he looked deep inside himself, pouring out his heart, drawing semi trucks from pictures and memory—envisioning a new future. Feelings and encouragement from fellow inmates revealed natural talent and Willis wanted more, so he taught himself to draw portraits of famous people. "Great love", Leonardo da Vinci said”, is born from great knowledge of the thing loved". For Willis, a love of drawing was born.

In federal prison for bank robbery, he'd learned that his prison job painting would pay more for him if he earned a GED. Wanting more money for art supplies, he studied and passed the high school equivalency test, graduating in a cap and gown ceremony.

Knowing that if he got into any trouble, the prison guards would take his art supplies, he adhered to all the prison rules. His love and talent for drawing grew, changing his beliefs and himself, others, and the world.

Now he's driven to use art as a way to enliven and make better the lives of others.

Art saved Willis’s life. In prison it set him free. Drawing daily, and doing it for its own sake, he's excited about his future.

For questions, comments, or inquiries into custom commissions, contact Willis's gallery rep, Intern Zachary at internzachary@prisonartware.com.

Buy original work and limited prints of this piece
Buy original work and limited prints of this piece

Buy original work and limited prints of this piece
Buy original work and limited prints of this piece

Buy original work and limited prints of this piece

Buy original work and limited prints of this piece