Joseph A. Pearson, a New Orleans, La.-based artist, served as an illustrator in the U.S. Army from 1976 to 1979. He started drawing at age 5, inspired by the illustrations he saw in a Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog. At the time, he was fascinated by “the magic of making a figure out of lines and shade.” His artwork now includes portraits, murals and human figures, but drawing figures remains his passion. “My strength as an artist lies in my passion for the familiar faces, figures and scenes of the loving, but ordinary facets of life: the human condition. My goal is to translate this condition into a universal point of view. My impetus begins with the human spirit and the desire to witness the love that spirit brings into the world,” Pearson says.