"Toys facilitated my imagination and desire to create at an early age. The act of play was a catalyst for me to pursue the arts, and instilled in me a curious enthusiasm that has consistently fueled my work to this day. Therefore, I decided to honor the act of play as an important influence on creativity by staging dioramas that depict whimsical scenarios."
Aaron Pickens was born in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Toledo School for the Arts. After high school, he completed his BFA in Digital Arts at Bowling Green State University, focused on animation and illustration.
Aaron worked as the lead artist on several titles at Toledo based mobile gaming company Ancient Sheep. Wanting to improve his understanding of illustration, he went back to school at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as a graduate assistant in 2012, and completed his MFA in 2015. His work was focused on representational painting, specifically intricate paintings of toys.
He was the recipient of a CURS grant, the Amy Ringholz Art Supply Award and his painting “Old Yella” was accepted into the nationally competitive 79th Annual Midyear Juried Show at the Butler Institute of American Art.
Aaron currently resides in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he assists internationally renowned digital installation artist Erwin Redl, and teaches drawing at Adrian College in Michigan.