Robert Simon was born in 1949 in East St. Louis, Illinois. He spent most of his early life in southern Illinois and West Tennessee.
Simon began drawing about age 12, penciling and shading small boxes, triangles, and circles in the margins of his school books and notebook paper. Never having taken an art class, his drawings, over the years, have become significantly more complex, the shading having given way to brilliant, vivid colors, the shapes and figures diverse and multifaceted. With each drawing, a new expression of his changing inner consciousness emerges.
“Drawing is and has been an incredible escape for me throughout most of my life. People often ask me how I can do this. To me, it makes more sense to ask how can I NOT do it. The objective is not to create some kind of appealing piece but to put some kind of balance and order into my world. When I am drawing, my heart rate slows down and my mind is focused, though not fixated on any specific thought. The thoughts come and go and are free-flowing. I have never drawn the same thing twice. I can’t. If I tried to, which I have with some things, they are never the same. The truth is one’s mind is never in the exact same place twice – it’s like life, changing from one moment to the next.”