Young artist making waves in the art world

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“It's really just a bunch of squiggle lines, but as soon as you look at it, you think its hair,” artist Tim Downs said. “Every time someone looks at it, they either laugh or smile or see some part of themselves in it.”

Downs loves putting people's emotions on paper.
“I always want to show people the art as tiny building blocks of emotions,” Downs continued. “Everyone has it and if you simplify it down and everything, it's like just drawing a few lines on a piece of poster board, and you see a whole different personality on it.”

The 15-year-old's work is on display, thanks to the help of a close family friend, at the Monorchid Gallery in Phoenix. Downs show is called "Simplicity".
“It's kind of a heart shaped face, but you can tell she's blissfully looking out at something,” Downs said. “Someone is falling in love for the first time and is totally changed forever.”

“It also helps me feel accepted knowing people can look at the way I see things drawn on paper and understand it.”

It's the works of famous artists like Al Hirschfeld and Pablo Picasso that inspire Downs.

“I use to love Al Hirschfield's drawings, he drew characters and I took advantage of the kind of way he drew everything,” Downs said. “You can tell looking at these simple thin lines, they are arms and while nobody has arms that look like that, you can tell that's what they are.”

But Downs’ art is more than just showcasing people's emotions; it's also been his escape from an un-diagnosed medical condition. He has no control over his right arm and legs.

“It's been his escape and it's also been a communication medium for him,” Downs’ mother said.
While things haven't always been easy, Barbara Downs said her son definitely keeps a positive outlook on life.

“He loves to observe people and it doesn't surprise me that he found a way to get out and get over the obstacles he's had.”

 While Downs still doesn't know if being an artist is something he'll do long-term.

“It could be my career for the rest of my life or be the apartment bill check,” Downs said.

 What he does know, drawing has changed his life and hopefully many others in the future.

“Regardless of any complications, happiness and joy can and should be found around every corner no matter what.” Downs said.

The Tim Downs Art Show will take place Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Monorchid Gallery, located at 214 E. Roosevelt in Phoenix, AZ 85004. For further information go to