MKE Influencers: Anime artist inspires millions online through his artwork

MKE Influencers: Anime artist inspires millions online through his artwork

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- For Sheldon Wilbon, a blank canvas is a tool that helps connect his inner creativity to the world.

Under his artist name, Pooh Brezzy, he has gained support from all over the world for his creative work.

"I use my painting as a getaway from all those stressful events and things in my life," he said.

Sheldon lives in Arizona now but was born and raised in Milwaukee. Growing up, he spent a lot of time at True Skool, a nonprofit that teaches creative arts and hip-hop culture. Sheldon credits True Skool for helping him develop a lot of his artistic talents.

The inspiration to keep pursing his passions comes from someone close.

"My mom always was there to encourage the artistic side of me. Actually, at one point I didn't want to paint no more and I wanted to break dance," he said.

He danced and pursued music for a while but eventually found his way back to a paintbrush. Back in 2020, during the pandemic, Sheldon says the isolation sparked a level of deep creativity. "Being inside the house, I got depressed/bored. I decided to paint my entire house. I painted the living room, my room, bedrooms, hallways, and I painted murals in the whole house," he said.

Hoping to inspire others to explore their creative passions, he started posting his work online. Sheldon's work is inspired by anime, a Japanese style of animation that transforms Manga transcripts (Japanese comic books) into television and film stories. The characters are either hand-drawn or computer generated. "The art in anime is like a whole different vibe," Sheldon said.

Before his first canvas, Sheldon started painting on denim jackets after a friend showed him how.

Sheldon posted a jacked he painted online, and it went viral. Between Instagram and TikTok, he now has more than 1.5 million followers.

Despite his social media success, Sheldon says he doesn't paint for followers and unless it's a commissioned project, he finds it difficult to part with his work because it's so personal to him.

Sheldon is now working on his own anime series called "Poia."

"It's about a boy that basically gets thrown into a life he doesn't want to be into and forced into, and he wants to find his way out of it," he said.

He's excited to share his anime and hopes to continue inspiring others through his work.

"The support that I get from people is crazy, and all around the world. I don't take that for granted," he said.

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