The Artist in Our Midst: Mr. Spillman


Blakely Harrison, Artist (Pronounced Arteest)

Mr. Spillman has been an artist ever since he was a child. He has been sketching, painting, and drawing for about as long as he has lived. His career started at an early age by selling drawings to kids in his classes in middle school for money to buy chips or sodas.

He has had several jobs in the art realm including a courtroom sketch artist, doing freelance work making merch for bands, and illustrating work. Mr. Spillman has been a teacher here at Houston High School for the past 7 years, and he has also taught at the Memphis College of Art, The University of Memphis, and Bruce Elementary School. His favorite part of teaching is mentoring students and seeing them grow throughout the years that they are in art at Houston. He enjoys getting to know his students and their personalities.

He works mainly in gouache, oil paint, and ink. Mr. Spillman is inspired by the artists Chuck Jones, Philip Guston, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His pieces often feature animals such as monkeys, birds, and snakes along with donuts. His art work can be seen anywhere you can imagine, from galleries, to t-shirts, to bumper stickers, motorcycle helmets, and even tattoos on people’s bodies.

Mr. Spillman pushes students to be the best artist that they can be. He mentors the students that truly care, and those desire to further their artistic talents. Both him and Mrs. Schulter have done excellent things for the art students at Houston High School, and I believe that they should be acknowledged for all that they do for the students ranging from the National Art Honors Society to helping students put their ideas from in their head to on paper.

(Edited by: Hayley Royal)