As a member of Rampage Step Team, The National Society of Leadership and Success, Collegiate 100 and other organizations, MyQueal Lewis is a busy man. And while he wears many hats, he always finds time to cater to his passion — art.
Lewis, a social work major with a focus on adolescents, is a native of Gainesville. He enjoys painting, graphic design, and videography when he’s not too busy. He discovered his passion for art when he was in grade school.
“I’ve always had an interest of, like, film and movies, and transitions; really, everything based on Adobe and After Effects, prior to high school,” Lewis said. “My high school didn’t really have a focus in Adobe…so coming to FAMU, ‘though I’m not in J-School, I knew of the opportunities,” he said. “And painting is something I’ve been doing since the fourth grade.”
Morgan Pinnock, one of Lewis’ friends, was surprised and amazed by his talent when they were assigned a challenge during an orientation leaders event.
“Me and him were working together, just to get the props together and I saw him starting to sketch real quick, ‘cause he had all these ideas. And I was like, ‘Hold on…you really do this for real,’” Pinnock said. “Because, you know, some people ‘play-play’ do this, but he’s actually, like, on it, for real.”
Lewis mainly gets his inspiration from cartoons, but he would like to start expanding his repertoire.
“I kind of want to transition to, you know, painting more serious things, not saying that cartoons isn’t serious because it holds something very dear to all of us. A nostalgic type admiration, but I’m just really big on painting right now,” Lewis said.
Since social work is such a demanding field, Lewis finds that doing art is therapeutic.
“Painting just allows me to be able to take time to myself and just be me, “ Lewis said. “And within that time, I’m actually thinking of ideas for videos and graphics.”
Recently, Lewis had the opportunity to showcase and sell his artwork at the Afro Funk Fest hosted by FSU’s Black Student Union. That was a major milestone in his creative career.
“I was just surrounded by various artists who were selling their art, I was selling my art. That was a major confidence boost, like, the first time I ever sold a piece of art,” Lewis said. “Now, I’ve had people ask me to do graphics and pay for them, but it’s nothing like a piece that you made to have someone buy it.”
Danny Ogletree, another one of Lewis’ close friends, enjoys all of his work, but one project stood out to Ogletree.
“Last year, during Black History Month, he [Lewis] recorded a few FAMU students and asked them to name a Black person that inspired them, or just a person that they enjoyed watching growing up,” Ogletree said. “It was good to see our Black students talk about other Black people who inspired them.”
After he graduates from Florida A&M with his bachelor’s in social work, Lewis is considering to further his creative education by getting his master’s in either film, graphic design, or digital design.
As of now, Lewis is actively making artwork and broadcasting it on his art page on Instagram (@quealityproductions).
“I use art as a way to express myself and help those around me,” Lewis said. “Creativity has to start somewhere.”