Portland Artist, Carson Roberts

Aaron Smet
3 min readMar 14, 2021

Carson Roberts is an artist worth keeping an eye on. I had the pleasure of meeting him in the summer of 2019 at a pop-up event in Northeast Portland. We struck up a conversation and exchanged Instagram accounts. However, it wasn’t until several months later that I reached out to him.

I had recently moved into my apartment in Lake Oswego and was looking to decorate my walls. I remembered that Carson had some paintings for sale, so I decided to check out his Instagram account. One painting, in particular, caught my attention — “Street Saint,” which depicted a man flying through the sky with a burning background. I contacted Carson through a direct message, expressing my interest in purchasing the painting and wanting to see it in person. He was excited to hear from me and invited me to his studio to view the painting.

As soon as I entered his apartment, it was clear that I was in the presence of a true artist. The floor was covered in bed sheets and the walls were adorned with large 40-inch canvases, as if they were watching over him as he slept. He offered me a seat in his wheelchair and upon my inquiry, he explained that it was found on the street and he decided to repurpose it as furniture, which made me chuckle. Even before viewing his artwork, I was already impressed by his dedication to his craft and his resourcefulness. I prefer to support artists who live and breathe their art, rather than those who do it as a hobby.

Upon finally showing me the painting, I was struck by its beauty. Slightly larger than I had imagined, I couldn’t help but ask about the materials he used. Carson revealed that he had used a combination of acrylic, spray paint, and pastel on repurposed reflective roll-up vinyl. He shared with me about his late-night excursions, scouring the streets for construction materials to use in his art. I was in awe of the dedication and passion this “starving artist” had for his craft, even going as far as to obtain materials through unconventional means.

Curious about his creative process, I asked about it and he shared that he writes down his thoughts and feelings at the time of painting on the back of each canvas, which I found interesting and unique.

Feeling inspired by his art and story, I decided to purchase the painting. As a socially conscious artist, Carson decided to donate 1/3 of his earnings to the National Police Accountability Project. To check out more of Carson’s work, visit his website cd-rproductions.com.