Wilson Allen

Wilson Allen is a calligrapher and graphic designer born and raised in a log house in Georgia. He traveled north to study at the School of the Artist Institute of Chicago, where he developed a keen interest in letterpress printing and bookbinding.

Wilson recently moved back to Georgia and is excited to do anything relating to design and the book arts!

Archive of Older Work
All Items
Design
Calligraphy
Illustration
Anne Marie Jenkins - Portrait
Illustration
September 27, 2014
Anne Marie Jenkins - Portrait
A portrait created as a birthday gift for my godmother. The image is of her mother, Anne Marie Jenkins. While on a trip to the hospital to visit Mrs. Jenkins, I began to sketch her while she and my mother and godmother visited. At the time Mrs. Jenkins was terminally ill and 80 years old mother; she was in the hospital with pneumonia. At her directions, I was taking great pains to leave out the bruises on her face from a recent fall when Mrs. Jenkins said, “Get rid of my wrinkles and give me more hair.” Out of a sense of self preservation, I changed the piece to look like a familiar photo of her at thirty. Later at a gathering, I watched her proudly show it off. “Oh, this is you when you were younger,” her friends said. “Oh no,” she beamed, “This was me two weeks ago in the hospital.”
A Reading from the Letter of James
Calligraphy
May 20, 2014
A Reading from the Letter of James
This piece was calligraphed for my friend, Ryan Elizabeth Newkirk, who is now Ryan Besel, on the occasion of her garduation from high school. Ryan chose the biblical passage, and the butterfly illustrations were used because of her personal affinity for them. Butterflies also takes the event of someone graduation and going out into out into the world and symbolizes it by showing the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.
Miss Sarah McLeod - Portrait
Illustration
January 30, 2014
Miss Sarah McLeod - Portrait
The portrait of Miss Sarah McLeod was produced for Mrs Sibley Wheeler nee Fleming, a family friend, as a surprise for Miss Sibley’s sister. Created from a tattered black and white reference photo with verbal descriptions of the dress and the woman's affinity for sun tanning. This portrait that I created when I was a teenager, gave me one of my first glimpses of the intense emotions my work could generate. Upon receiving the painting, the sister held it like it was fragile and delicate, tears in her eyes, “That’s the color I remember of Mama’s hair. I’ve always told myself I could remember the color of her hair.” A heartbreaking pause, “You know, Mama died when I was four.” Until then, I didn’t realize that I was producing the only color photo these women had of a mother lost too soon. The wave of emotion my art produced was intense and new to me.