Community Focus: Metro artist gives back to the community despite his success
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The art scene is on the rise in the metro.
You may have heard about a Tennyson "Celebrity Paint and Wine Party", where people get a chance to learn how to paint their favorite celebrity while enjoying a glass of wine. But, do you know the story of the mastermind behind the event, Ray Tennyson?
There are no "gray areas" when it comes to Tennsyon's paintings. His love for black and white mixed with a hint of color is turned into a familiar face, after countless hours in his studio.
"Its definitely something that I didn't think would get this big," Tennyson said.
The 28-year-old African-American artist has worked with celebrities like Chris Brown, Floyd Mayweather, and Keri Hilson, but he's not putting down his paint brush any time soon. No matter how successful the Oklahoma City-native gets, Tennyson has made it his mission to give back,
"Charity events broke me as an artist," Tennyson said.
One of his most charitable moments was for former Thunder players Thabo Sefalosha and Serge Ibaka.
"I helped the team raise 140 thousand dollars for that night, just from four of my pieces alone," Tennyson said.
Tennyson's "overnight success" stems from over a decade of experience. He sacrificed his twenties, so there was no time off for the self-taught artist.
"I literally just didn't have a life for so long and I built a craft," Tennyson said.
Getting better each day, the artist admits gaining confidence as an artist is still a challenge.
"I still doubt myself as much as I did before, so you have to keep validating yourself," Tennyson said.
Giving yourself value, without compromising your worth, Tennyson's smallest portrait sells for $1,000 dollars, but he has what is called "Paint Bid Wars", where he auctions his work on social media for a significantly lower cost for the community.
If you want to create your own work of art, attend Tennyson's next "Celebrity paint and wine party". The next event is on May 19th, you'll be able to paint a picture of Thunder players and popular music artist like Prince and Beyonce for under $40. Click here for more information