Terrell Villiers, “Club Oasis,” 2021
View Club Oasis, 2021, in the K21 gallery here →
Terrell Villiers spent his teen years in conservative, mid-state Florida, a bastion of homophobia further divided by racial fault-lines. As a Queer Black, CIS-presenting male, his talents as an illustrator were a lifeline. Drawing was his superpower. Because he knew no one quite like himself, Villiers composed characters — peers, friends, and mentors — to populate a world otherwise devoid of nuance. But his path to a career as a celebrated digital cartoon illustrator and to being the proprietor of Terrell Villiers Creations was not linear. There were years lost to self-doubt fueled by drugs and alcohol, difficulties at home, and an immersion within an almost all-white world of allies.