Terry Crews is best known for being in front of the camera. At 6'3," 240 pounds, and who knows how many muscles, the former professional football player looks built for action movies. However, he's actually a master of comedy. In every role, he brings a hilarious manic energy, from President Cumancho in the movie Idiocracy to Terry Jeffords on the sitcom Brooklyn Nine Nine to the "Old Spice Guy" in a series of very surreal commercials.
However, Terry has a secret talent that you might not know about: He's an incredibly talented illustrator. When he was playing in the NFL, he made extra money by painting portraits of his teammates in the locker room. Before he had a football scholarship, he won an art scholarship. And his first job in the entertainment industry was working as a courtroom sketch artist for a murder trial. In fact, he's been drawing every since he saw Star Wars in 1977. Pretty impressive, right?
Advertising Age recently published their "Creativity 50," an annual issue celebrating 50 of the entertainment industry's most influential creative figures. This year Terry Crews didn't just make the list; he illustrated the cover. The drawing is a mock-up of Mt. Rushmore, with the four presidents' faces replaced by Terry and three other figures from the Creativity 50: Rihanna, Stephen Colbert and Melissa McCarthy.
In the interview with Ad Age, Terry opens up about his talents. He says that, to him, "creativity" means "vulnerability" and "authenticity." And he offers this advice for kindred spirits who feel like they don't enough free time to create art.
"About 10, 12 years ago, I realized there's a lot of time I'm wasting. You think, "I don't have time!" Then you realize, "Oh, I just watched three hours of television." You have to carve it out. This is where the discipline comes in. And once you start creating, it's going to suck. You have to not judge yourself. All judgment kills creativity. You have to be nice to yourself."
But it's not just paintings and courtroom sketches of a murder trial. Terry also designs furniture, and created an original item called the "lily-pad," a combination of a table and chair.
"That whole experience was frightening, nerve-racking and so rewarding. There was one thing I created, called a lily pad. It's a chair-table combination. When I brought the sketches in, I didn't know if the company was going to accept it. It turned out they loved it and they made it. "Terry, no one has ever made anything like this before!" I made something that didn't exist before because I was not from that world, not trying to compete with anyone else."
Is there anything Terry Crews can't do? His excellent illustrations came as a surprise to many, and the internet freaked out:
First we found out Jim Carrey is a skilled painter. Now Terry Crews' illustrations are blowing our minds. Is every comedic actor secretly a great artist? I can't wait to see Adam Sandler's Impressionist paintings.