From the art studio to your living room: Valentino Dixon teaching online art classes

Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 18:40:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Valentino Dixon hopes his Facebook live show can be a 30-minute escape from reality.

"A lot of times we take for granted the small things that can help us get along and help us overcome any type of obstacle, so even just a few minutes a day can just carry us on through to the next day," Dixon said from his art studio at his Buffalo home. The studio is covered in Dixon's drawings.

"These are drawings I did in prison," he said showing off the studio. Dixon continued, "Just some of the 900 drawings I did in prison."

As Dixon said, he “drew” himself out of prison. His artwork gained national attention while behind bars serving time for a crime he did not commit. After serving 27 years, he was released in September 2018 after his conviction for murder was overturned.

"Ever heard of the term the pen is mightier than the sword? Well for me it’s the power of the pencil, the power of the color pencil and it can just open up your spirits to so many different things," Dixon said.

Every weeknight at six, Dixon goes live on Facebook with his show “Draw and Talk With Me.” Each episode is posted the next day on YouTube. Starting in May, Dixon will go live Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at the same time.

"I said let me try and help people get through this quarantine because I spent 27 years in sort of a quarantine and this is where I rediscovered my talent as an artist," Dixon said. He continued, "Now more than ever, it’s time to rediscover whatever talent that we have. It might not even be artwork, but this may lead to you rediscovering something while we’re dealing with these challenging times."

From drawing unicorns to the Easter Bunny, this week is all about the kids. The themes do change and sometimes he spends a week teaching one sketch. Dixon said "Draw and Talk With Me" is more than just learning how to draw. "We have a dialogue about real-life issues," he said.

Day-by-day, that’s how Dixon is navigating the world today.

"It’s going to make us stronger as a people, as an individual, as a person, ya know we’re gonna learn how to value things a lot more and not take these things for granted," Dixon said.