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Artist, lawyer sparks creativity with his ambidextrous art on TikTok

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 16:25:45-05

A Michigan artist and lawyer is bringing joy to his nearly 700,000 followers on TikTok with his ambidextrous art.

"Drawing’s always been a passion of mine," said Colin Darke.

The Grosse Pointe Farms resident honed his creative spirit starting at a young age, growing up in a big family.

"I’m the youngest of five, we’re artists and lawyers," he said.

A house divided, but also not, because Colin is both an artist and a lawyer, which actually matches another unique aspect of his life.

"Some people become ambidextrous because they break one arm and then they work on the other one a lot. This was just something that came naturally," he said.

His mother is also ambidextrous, and switching from his left to his right hand and back to his left was just what he did.

After getting a bachelor of fine arts degree in watercolor, Colin went to law school. It was there that he made a commitment to honor his passion for art more often, not wanting to lose a part of him he loved so much.

"I do the, you know, 'What would my 80-year-old self tell myself right now?' Like, 'You gave up on this passion just to focus on a career or focus on this other aspect.' So, then I just committed to myself that, 'OK, just to make my 80-year-old self happy, I'll draw every day at a bare minimum,'" he said.

Once a self-described art snob who heavily edited his own work, Colin said it was when his ambidextrous art took off on TikTok that he realized his ability to freely create didn’t just bring him joy, but others, too.

"I would get DMs and comments saying how people watch the, you know, the mirror drawings and the single line drawings, in particular, how they can watch those over and over again and it provides them ease and provides them comfort and, and joy and wonder. Getting that feedback is even more of a, 'Alright, this is providing value and joy to others. Like, I should lean into it and get over any insecurity that I have,’” said Darke.

Now with nearly 700,000 followers on the platform, Colin continues to foster community through his work.

"Creating a dialog and trying to create wonder is just a big part of why I create," he said.

His next adventure: finishing up a book he’s been working on.

"It's focused on just fostering creativity, really grabbing lessons from what we consider creative geniuses, the artists that can apply to your work life," he said.

Colin has also created an art club for anyone to join, where he helps them unleash their own creativity.

And he aims to uplift Detroit Arts and Scraps with proceeds from some of his work.

"I'm a big fan of Arts & Scraps, so I've been trying to sell work and then give some of the profits to them, because they're doing great, great work with fostering STEAM education, STEM education in kids and youth, Detroit youth in particular," said Colin.

To learn more about Colin and his artwork, click here.

This story was originally published by Alexandra Bahou at WXYZ.