My name is Caleb Wilkie.
I've been creating things since I was a kid. From my first sketches as just a boy of castles, clouds, planets, and super heroes to the cobbled LEGO builds of a dreamer, I've flexed that muscle my whole life. My father has been a sign painter off-and-on for all of his adult life, passing on his skill with hand-made art, both professional and personal.
Things developed further in my teens. My whole life I had been enamored by stories of fantasy, fiction, and heroism, but it wasn't until then that I realized that I might construct my own worlds and characters that could pull people in and save them from the everyday. I wanted to do just that. So, I started writing. And haven't stopped since.
In high school, I kept flexing my writing muscle when I joined yearbook. But it was here that I discovered a whole new aspect of my creative urges: design. My senior year, I was the yearbook editor and designed essentially the whole book, cover to cover, and, although there was plenty to learn, this was where I reawakened my journey into visual art. This led me to eventually major in graphic design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism.
During college, I also rediscovered something else from my childhood: comics. While everyone--including myself--went to the latest super hero movie, I started reading comic books again. Then I started drawing again...in earnest. I found that the bold colors and black lines of comic art spoke to me in new ways. And everything came full circle: design, traditional art, color, writing. Since then, my designs are inspired by my drawings, and my drawings are inspired by my designs.
I am a creator: a designer, artist, and author.
I married my high school sweetheart Jennifer on October 10, 2015. We live in Durham, NC, where we like to game, eat good food, and watch Twitch streamers. We have attended Church of the Good Shepherd in south Durham since 2017.
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1992, while my dad was in seminary. From there, my family lived in Evansville, Indiana and Charleston, West Virginia before finally settling in western North Carolina in Lake Lure. Although I've lived in a few places, my formative years were in the suburbs of Charleston and then my integral high school experience was in North Carolina. From the latter came my fierce love for good barbecue, from both my love for mountains and the outdoors.
When I'm not designing or working, I have a number of hobbies, including drawing (of course), trail-running, and copious amounts of video games. My favorite art style is comic book art. The seed for this was born when I was young, watching ravenously Batman: the Animated Series, Spider-Man, and every super hero I could acquire. When I was in middle school, a family member introduced me to DC Comics Batman: Hush series. This began my love affair with the art form. I studied, and studied, and studied Jim Lee and Scott William's art. I obsessed over it, and it inspired me to take up art more seriously.
But I can't stay cooped up inside all the time. Between 2011 and 2018, I worked for REI. It's a terrific company that always encouraged me to find strength in resting in the outdoors. Fortunately, I still work for an employer that encourages me to push further. Fleet Feet has given me opportunities to broaden my horizons, to run my own way and to not look back. Now, I try to escape periodically, going trail-running, climbing with my wife, and wandering in the backcountry every so often. I believe it flexes the same muscle, experiencing nature (our world) and experiencing stories (new worlds), that's why I enjoy both so much.
And that's why I enjoy video games so much. I've been an avid gamer for a long time. Jumping into a whole new environment--often jumping into a whole new person--that's something that a book or a film can't do as well as a game. You don't just get to see the universe; you get to interact with it. Some of my favorite video games have rich worlds: Bioshock, Destiny, Halo, Uncharted, etc. There are many more, but they all continue to inspire me to make something with depth, that pulls people in.