WITH FAMILY, ART, AND MUSIC AS HIS LIFELINES, CEDRIC WATSON IS TRULY A HAPPY MAN
text by JENNIFER JORDAN | photo by MOLLY MINTER
Art, music, family. These are Cedric Watson’s lifelines. As most artists do, Cedric crafts his days around his passions – to fuel creativity and to spend time with the people he loves: his wife, Shaleisha, and their 2-year-old daughter, Jaliah.
“Everything I do is by the grace of God,” Cedric remarks. A Texarkana native, Cedric developed an interest in art at a young age. He always looked for opportunities to draw and won his first art show in the fifth grade. “I took my shoe off and drew a detailed picture of it right there in the classroom. I’ve always loved art and that’s why I’m still doing it.” Cedric’s favorite medium is charcoal. “I love bringing those black and white images to life. For the last year or so, I’ve been working more with my acrylic painting style, but charcoal will always be my favorite.”
Cedric’s talent has earned fans who have commissioned pieces as well as pure admirers. “I have seen landscapes that are just beautiful as well as one of a lion that looks like it could roar,” raves Larry Sims, one of Cedric’s pastors at First Baptist Texarkana. “Cedric also has quite a following of soul music fans. He is a fine guy who amazes us all with his talent.” The local arts community is also celebrating Cedric’s craft. His work is currently being featured in TRAHC’s art exhibit on display at the Texarkana Regional Arts Center through March 10.
Like any artist, Cedric is always striving for improvement. “I never get satisfied with the level of art work I do. I always challenge myself to be better at what I do ... to push myself further and do the next piece better than the last.” Cedric is one of those people blessed enough to work with his passion in his day job. He is a Retail Customer Service Manager at Michael’s arts and crafts store. Cedric enjoys helping customers find what they need. “It always does my heart good when they come back in and thank you for helping them with their projects.”
Cedric was also introduced to music at an early age. His father played harmonicas, and, as a boy, Cedric enjoyed watching and listening to him. “When I was about 10 or 11 years old, he gave me one of them, and I started practicing. By the age of 13, I was getting pretty good. The first song I ever played was “Amazing Grace.” Later on, I developed an ear for Blues from listening to Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.”
When Cedric is not painting or playing the harmonica, he is learning more to hone his talents. “My hobbies are looking up other artists and learning new techniques in drawing and painting. The same with music. I love to look up harmonica players and listen to their creative styles. It motivates me as a musician.” However, at the end of the day, Cedric always comes back to his family. He enjoys nothing more than being with Shaleisha and Jaliah. “I love relaxing and enjoying time with my wife and daughter. I love playing and having fun with my baby girl. I think I have more fun than she does sometimes.”
It is exciting to have young, creative spirits like Cedric expressing themselves in our community. Cedric wants to serve as an inspiration to others, whether it’s through his art or music. For guidance, Cedric leans on a couple of mottos: “Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you become your reality.” He also believes that if “opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” These are wise words for anyone wishing to develop a talent, build a business, or just live well. Even wiser is Cedric’s basic outlook on life: “I’m a simple guy. Give me my family, art, and music, and I’m a happy man.” Isn’t this all anyone can ask for?