A partially deaf 15-year-old artist has blown up on social media due to his stunning portraits of various celebrities, including the late Betty White, Billy Porter, LeBron James, late actor Sidney Poitier and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Tyler Gordon began painting when he was ten years old. In an interview, he said he heard a message from God.
“When I was ten years old, I had this dream of God telling me if I didn’t use my talent, he was going to take it away from me. So that night, at 3 in the morning, I ran into my mom’s room and told her about my dream. At first, she thought that I was playing around. Then the next night, I had the same dream.” Tyler told SF Gate in December 2020.
That dream eventually led to the talented youngster landing a gig painting LeBron James for the cover of Time Magazine’s “Athlete of The Year” issue.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the coveted cover, Tyler celebrated the moment on Instagram.
Creativity runs through the teen’s veins because his mother, Nicole Kindle, is also an artist. His self-named style of “shadow painting” has caught the attention of singer Janelle Monet. She commissioned a custom piece. Tyler also spoke to Vice President Harris regarding his work.
“I am overwhelmed by the magnificence of your gift. You really have a gift, my goodness. I was so touched to see it,” Harris told the Oakland-bred artist.
About chopping it up with the VP, Tyler said, “She was just really humble. One thing that I really like about her is that even though it was right before Thanksgiving and she’s the vice president [-elect], she was still at home cooking cornbread with her family. It really inspired me to stay humble and keep pushing forward.”
The brilliant young man has never let obstacles stand in his way. Tyler’s Instagram bio stated that he had a “stutter,” and he was partially deaf. He was born deaf but had corrective surgery at the age of six to regain a part of his hearing. The determined teen was also wheelchair-bound for two years and had to contend with bullies because he stuttered.
“Art has been a huge help in expressing myself and showing people my differences are only positive. Now instead of being bullied because I’m different, I can inspire others to embrace their own differences,” Gordon told Because Of Them We Can.