San Jose teen artist Tyler Gordon talks about new best-selling book, gets surprise from rapper E-40

Luz Pena Image
Monday, September 27, 2021
SJ teen prodigy artist Tyler Gordon debuts new book
In the South Bay, a teen artist who is known for his paintings of celebrities is days away from releasing his first book.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, a teen artist who is known for his paintings of celebrities is days away from releasing his first book.

ABC7 news reporter Luz Pena met with Tyler Gordon, who even on a Sunday was painting his latest masterpiece.

Tyler Gordon's welcomed us to his San Jose home where almost every wall space is covered with his paintings. This is what he calls his happy place.

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Luz Pena: "Which one is your latest?"

Tyler Gordon: "This one right here I just painted it. It's of E-40."

Tyler's passion for painting started five years ago when he said God spoke to him.

"He said 'mom God is in my room' and I was like, 'don't go to the light. Just go back to bed.' He was like 'no mom he said I'm going to be a painter and I'm going to change the world,'" said Nicole Kindle, Tyler Gordon's mom.

At 15 years old, Tyler has had his paintings featured at multiple galleries including the Beverly Center in Los Angeles.

He's had one of his portraits on the cover of Time's Magazine, got a personal call from Vice President Kamala Harris praising his work, and just on Friday he was painting in front of thousands of people in Detroit.

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VP-elect Kamala Harris surprised 14-year-old Tyler Gordon with a phone call after he tweeted a timelapse video of him painting her portrait.

Now he is holding his latest achievement, his first book titled "We Can: Portraits of Power."

"It's number 1 on Amazon and it's not even out yet. It really amazes me," said Gordon.

Tyler is partially deaf and has a stutter. Every page in his book features an icon in politics, arts, sports and entertainment, people who inspired him.

"Everybody in this book had struggles and they overcame those struggles. They were kids just like us and they kept following their passion," said Gordon.

As he gears up for his book tour he still has many dreams to accomplish including, "I actually promised my mom I would buy her a house next year. That is going to be a big day for me," said Gordon.

Luz Pena: "How many paintings do you need to sell to buy her a house?"

Tyler Gordon: "I don't know, but I will get there."

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To help him with that, remember that E-40 painting he did? I had an idea.

We FaceTimed E-40.

Luz Pena: "Hey E-40. Let me introduce you to Tyler. This is Tyler."

E-40: "We remember you bro. We've seen you on TV on the news. You've got a lot of talent."

Tyler Gordon: "I actually want to give you this painting."

E-40: "Hey I want to buy that picture. Hey set it up so I can buy that picture."

Tyler Gordon: "Okay, Definitely."

And just like that Tyler is one painting closer to buying his mom a house with more wall space for his painting as he inspires other kid's one art piece at a time.

Tyler's book comes out September 28.