|1995 photo of actor Terry Crews with a work in progress (circa 1995). Image via sikids.com.|
Actor shares his art portfolio during talk show appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Text | Benjamin Sutton for artnet news
Published | September 4, 2014
Actor, former NFL player, Old Spice commercials star, and forthcoming Who Wants To Be a Millionaire host Terry Crews has another skill: He’s a talented artist. He revealed as much [during the September 3rd airing of] Jimmy Kimmel Live, sharing his portfolio of photorealistic sports paintings and sketches. His works are reminiscent of sports art giant Daniel A. Moore, though presumably Crews hasn’t faced the same kind of legal hardships as Moore over copyrighted team logos, colors, and other insignia.
Before Crews set out to become a football player, he honed his art craft in a most improbable setting.
“I come from Flint, Michigan,” Crews told Kimmel. “My first job in entertainment, I drew courtroom sketches for the worst murder case in Flint, Michigan history.” His talents with pen and paintbrush were such that when it came time for Crews to head to college, it was his art rather than his athleticism that opened doors. “I had an art scholarship before I had a football scholarship,” he explained.
During his brief career as a professional football player, Crews kept up his studio practice, even depending on it for extra income.
“I would get cut from a team—I played on six teams in seven years, so that happened a lot—so I would go back into the locker room and ask the players if they wanted their portraits painted,” he told Kimmel. “That’s how I survived, I was always on the end of the roster, I was never a big superstar, I was an 11th round draft pick. Humility gets you far. You gotta make some money, you gotta humble yourself…It would literally take me about two months to do a painting, and they would give me like $5,000 and I would survive off that, my whole family survived off that.”