Art has always been in Eddie Snow’s life.
“I remember being yelled at by my mom coloring on the walls,” he laughed.
The 39-year-old artist grew up in Connecticut with his three brothers and mom. His mom, who’s featured at the artist showcase, “Portraits of Admiration: The People That Made Me,” at South Central College, had always encouraged the young artist to purse his talents.
“She never told me I couldn’t do it; she never told me to just give up art,” he said. “My mom never wavered.”
Growing up, Snow’s mom ran a cake business from home. There’d be characters that Snow could draw a bit better than his mom, even at around the age of 12 or 13. She’d ask him, for example, to draw Mickey Mouse.
This was Snow’s first paid gig.
Then, at age 10, the self-taught artist went to “Beauty and the Beast” with his mom.
“I kind of got sucked into it,” he said.
This film inspired the young artist to initially become a Disney animator. (Side note: Snow had worked on and off for six years at Disney World in Florida, not as an artist, where he also met his wife while they worked the same roller coaster. They now live in Mankato.)
Later, as an adult, Snow had been interviewed by Disney to work for them, however was not hired.
“A lot of the time, a couple of the processes they were like, ‘You don’t draw like us,’ so I kept pushing myself to draw, eventually, like them,” he said. “Now it’s kind of in my style. I can’t get rid of it.”
Determined, Snow had attended a community college in Connecticut primarily because they offered a Disney College Program. He knew if he attended this college he could go to Disney World where they had the Disney animation studio which, at the time, was open. And who knows? Perhaps he could get around and talk to someone to get his foot in the door.
“But the minute I got there, they shut down the studio,” Snow laughed.
Snow’s current works include traditional drawing portraits from Walt Disney and Prince to Chance the Rapper and Lady Gaga. Each drawing portrays the subject in Disney-esque features, including the eyes, the most critical piece to a portrait.
The exhibit also features his 5-year-old son, Oliver, who is his biggest fan. Every night, his son asks him to draw a picture for him. Oliver’s room is currently filled with at least a hundred drawings made by his dad.
The portrait of his son is his proudest work.
Portraits are difficult to draw, Snow said. It’s vital to get the likeness just right. Having drawn his son before, he’d always come close, but it wasn’t until the latest attempt that he believes he fully captured Oliver.
“I remember drawing (Oliver), and I always do the eyes last because that’s them,” he said. “I started drawing his eyes, and once I drew his eyes I was like, ‘There you are.’”
He doesn’t know what was different about this piece in particular, but he knows this piece came together effortlessly despite his being a self-proclaimed overthinker.
“It was almost like my hand was kind of going without me,” he said. “He’s my favorite person in the entire world.”
Snow’s exhibit runs now through Jan. 20 at South Central College. Other portraits include influential people in his life such as Jim Henson, Steven Spielberg, his uncle who introduced him to comic books, Glen Keane and his wife’s late grandfather.
The upcoming semester will be his last at SCC, where he has been studying graphic design. Currently, Snow is a freelance artist/illustrator and graphic designer and also takes care of his son while out of school.
“I just want to be creative and do it for a living, whatever that may be.”