Johnson Simon: ‘My Art is Student to my Paintbrush’

Johnson Simon, MFA’18, may have been born with cerebral palsy, yet he wasn’t about to let this stop him from bringing his vision to life.

The Herron School of Art and Design graduate grew up in West Palm Beach, Fla., and began drawing when he was seven years old. A middle-school art class propelled him to pursue higher education in the arts and then on to Western Michigan University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2015.

Simon credits IUPUI and the Herron School for helping him flourish not only as an artist, but also as a person living with—and overcoming—a disability.

“For the past two years, my studio has been my second home. If I wasn’t home, I was at my studio. Sometimes I wouldn’t leave until two in the morning.”

Simon’s commitment to his craft should serve him well as he transitions into the work force. He hopes to become a motivational speaker and an arts educator.

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To see more of Simon’s work, visit his website.

Simon’s story appeared in the Stories section of the Fall 2018 issue of the Indiana University Alumni Magazine, a magazine for members of the IU Alumni Association. View current and past issues of the IUAM.



Written By
IUAA Staff