The Toledo native loves his wife and pizza, in that order

Eric Jefferson has always been a creative individual. A native of Toledo, he graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration.

Eric's unique style of oil painting has also been influential in his graphic design. He uses art as a positive tool to deal with the problems of everyday life and conflicting situations. His works have been featured in a number of local and regional shows, including: “Holler: Them Edges,” “Art & Soul - A Tribute to Black Music: Jazz, Soul & Hip-Hop,” “A Woman's V.O.I.C.E. Art Show” and “50 Pieces of Black Gold.” His 1990s hip-hop-themed art playing cards are available on his website, theartofericjefferson.com.

Eric shares his life and creative space with his wife, R&B singer Renee Dion. The two are preparing for her first national tour — make sure to check her out at the Columbus Arts Festival on the Genoa Park Stage at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 9.

Here are a few things Eric loves.

My wife

Renee Dion has been my rock and my heart. She continues to push me forward not only in my creativity but in my pursuit to be a better man. Plus, we continue to create great things together. From art events to web series to working on her first national tour together, we continue to push the boundaries of love and creativity.

Family and friends

My family and friends have always been my everything, from my humble beginnings to where I am in life today. If not for each and every one of them, I would be a completely different individual.

My creative peers

My colleagues forever motivate me to push my creative envelope. I thank you all for encouraging me to do what I love to the fullest.

Music

My style of artwork heavily depends on the inspiration music gives. If I didn't have music in my life, I wouldn't be able to create. My inspirations come from, among others, Redman, J-Dilla, Pharoahe Monch, Common and, of course, Renee Dion.

Pizza

What can I say, PIZZA IS HEAVEN! Columbus has some great choices, and you can't go wrong with Hounddog's, Giordano's, Borgata, Massey's, Yellow Brick, Adriatico's or Rotolo's.