It is true that a picture says a thousand words, but for junior Studio Art major Dylan Cartwright, those
thousand words are up for interpretation. For Cartwright, that is what makes the picture worth making to
Coming to Sam Houston State University as a Psychology major, Cartwright soon found that, wherever
he went, his art would accompany him. To satisfy his creative energies, he switched his major to Graphic
Design, but again found insufficient opportunities for self-expression. The third time proved to be a charm
as he switched to Studio Art, where he finds himself now, temporarily satiated and brimming with
“Everything that I do, I delve into a deeper emotion within myself,” Cartwright said. “Every art piece I do
helps me discover myself a little more. I don’t want to just follow the crowd and do what everyone else is
doing. I want to focus on what’s going to make me stand out in the future.”
In a world filled with artist after artist claiming to have the answers, Cartwright believes in the ambiguity of
artwork. Instead of a clear meaning, he is aiming for the indescribable complexity of human feeling.
“I really want to get a core emotion, something that can be felt by anybody that is looking at it,” Cartwright
said. “I want to include everybody in what I’m trying to create. I don’t want to portray just one message, I
want to evoke an emotion in somebody, however they want to interpret it.”
An artist trying to invoke an emotion is subject to intense vulnerability. One of Cartwright’s most recent
pieces, a portrait of a lost loved one, is in development now.
“I’m working on a giant painting, one that is personal to me,” Cartwright said. “It’s a painting of my sister,
who passed away a couple of years ago. It’s a way for me to cope with those emotions. It’s really nice
that I get to paint her in the light that I see fit.”
During his time so far at SHSU, Cartwright found one thing abundantly true: his creativity has no time to
be limited or restricted by someone else’s vision. His time as a Graphic Design major revealed just how
much creative window he needed.
“In graphic design, you’re working for somebody else,” Cartwright said. “A logo, whatever, it’s always for
something else. It felt like I was collecting all this information and just kind of regurgitating it. I wanted to
be able to create my own art. To actually get my hands in something and create something for myself.”
Cartwright explained the creativity he sees in others, and why he feels everyone can make art, regardless
of skill level.
“A lot of people have creative ideas, but whether or not they focus and work on them is another thing,”
Cartwright said. “A lot of people, when they see art, their response is, ‘Well I wish I could draw’, and my
response is, you can do it. It really takes some focusing on what you want to achieve. Instead of just
getting caught up in everything else, just take time out of the day and work towards your intended end
Cartwright’s end goal is to be a teacher, to ignite creativity in younger generations, but still create his own
works on the side.
“There’s talent in kids that should be nurtured,” Cartwright said. “If I was the one to spark something great
in their artistic ability, I would feel very grateful. I also want to freelance, maybe have a website where
people can buy my work. I don’t just want to teach art, I want to continue to make it as well.”
Keep a steady eye out for SHSU’s Dylan Cartwright as he navigates his way through his career, one
picture— or a thousand words— at a time.
“This is my first semester in Studio Art, so I’m just now really building my new drawing and painting
portfolio,” Cartwright said. “In Studio Art, I get to delve into some deeper stuff that I’m dealing with or want
to display. I’m a lot happier now than I was then.”