Forrest Dickison’s self-described “artistic ADD” has brought him not only recognition and a career, but it’s also to blame for his recent visit to Tajikistan.Dickison’s work, “Easter Lilies,” was selected as the cover for this year’s Moscow Artwalk advertisements and brochures. The cover piece will be showcased at Moscow City Hall and a collection of his work will be shown at the Nuart Theater. The event, which features food, music and the work of more than 107 artists at 71 downtown businesses, begins at 3 p.m. Friday.
Born and raised in Moscow, Dickison graduated from Logos School in 2010 and got his bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of Idaho in 2014. He’s a full-time artist and also works part time at Canon Press.
His traditional work — the style represented on the Artwalk cover — is done in oils or gouache. But he also does illustration work, which is done digitally using a drawing tablet and Photoshop. He’s done a bit of animation as well. That’s where the “artistic ADD” comes in. And although his artistic interests, styles and mediums are diverse, they build on each other.
“One informs the other. If I’m being forced to work traditionally and not have the undo button, I have to make a more definitive stroke or line,” Dickison said.
As a freelance artist, Dickison has found book illustration to be the most consistent form of revenue for him, and thus, the pursuit that occupies most of his time. He illustrated “Hello Ninja” by N.D. Wilson, a popular board book that has been distributed in larger stores like Target and Babies R Us. He also recently illustrated a middle grade fantasy adventure published by Harper Collins, “Outlaws of Time,” also by Wilson. That project included cover and chapter illustrations, as well as a fully animated book trailer.
“I’m a very story-driven artist, which is why I like illustration and animation,” Dickison said. “Even when I’m painting still life, I’m still trying to tell some kind of story, even if it’s just describing light on an orange.”
That story-driven illustration is how he ended up in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan two weeks ago. He was invited to teach a one-week workshop for local illustrators through an organization that is producing a collection of traditional folktales to promote literacy. He is returning just in time for Artwalk.
IF YOU GO:
A full listing of Artwalk events and a brochure with a map of featured artists is available at Moscow City Hall, Moscow Chamber of Commerce, Moscow-Pullman Daily News and Lewiston Tribune. The following are some Artwalk highlights:
Live music will take place beginning at 4 p.m. in Friendship Square and in more than 10 downtown locations. Buskers will be performing on street corners.
Food will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. at the city of Moscow Water Department barbecue. A number of vendors will be along Main Street selling food, including pizza, Indian food, tacos, mac and cheese, ice cream, cookies and assorted beverages.
A live painting event will take place as Henry Stinson paints a portrait of Mayor Bill Lambert at 4:30 p.m. at Moscow City Hall. A reception and poetry reading by Moscow’s poet laureate, Tiffany Midge, will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Transit Center Sculpture Garden. An exhibit featuring the work of the late Sara Joyce, contemporary Idaho artist, opens at the University of Idaho Prichard Art Gallery.
Live demonstrations will be available beginning at 5 p.m. at Moscow City Hall and along Main Street. Presentations include lace making, quick portrait drawings, fly tying, medieval and renaissance arts and crafts and more. A live chess game begins at 4 p.m. Fiber arts demonstrations will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 1912 Center in conjunction with the Palouse Fiber Arts Festival; the event continues into Saturday and Sunday.