Off the Beaten Path: Picture worth a thousand words

WTHI Photo, Mike Latta

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – You can’t put a price on perfection.

“A true work of art is a picture worth 1,000 words…”

Then imagine the worth of thousands of pictures. Robin Walker captures the identity of the public in his portraits.

But, there is more to these portraits. If you notice the time stamps around the easel, Walker claims to be the fastest living portrait artist in the world.

“11 minutes and 38 seconds…”

But, this self-proclaimed title didn’t come easy.

Convicted of conspiracy to murder at age 19, Walker was to serve a life sentence. Behind bars, he discovered his uncanny ability and seven years later he was out on parole.

“I pursued being an artist, as my only survival, the only thing I knew I was good at so I had to pursue it,” Walker said.

Living homeless ever since as a gypsy, unable to secure a lease with his criminal history… “Survival you know, I’ve let my art be my soul support.”

But when the music comes on and the sharpie comes out, an incredible ability emerges from this ex-con.

“I tell the public a lot, I’m a true Gemini. This is one spirit that I have and this is another spirit. But he’s famous because he’s the person that draws the pictures.”

More than 130,000 portraits later; each one representing the skill of this mysterious man.

“That’s the satisfaction I get is the after affect. I know these people are going to hang these in their homes and hang it in their grandchildren’s home someday.”

61 years of travel and turmoil focused on making each drawing, of each day.

“It has been an interesting life.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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