Meet Roger J. Carter - The Creative Genius Making Art Out of Toy Soldiers

Meet Roger J. Carter - The Creative Genius Making Art Out of Toy Soldiers

Written by Matthew Moore


In our lifetime, we discover different things that have the ability to leave us speechless for a moment. These occasions are few and far between because as we grow older, we become accustom to the world around us. The artist that we're discussing today has spent a large portion of his life to get to this unique moment. A moment that has personally left us in wonder, amazement, confusion and a deep feeling of inspiration.


When we think of artwork, we often think of paintings, sculptures and a set of unwritten rules that are frequently followed by artists. If we're lucky enough, we get graced by the presence of someone who steps outside of the rule book and ventures into a rarely charted territory. This creative voyager, hailing from South Side, Chicago goes by the name of Roger J. Carter





 "When I was a kid back in the 80's, I was immediately drawn to graffiti and street art. At that time it wasn't very popular to see it but I loved the fact that it was an open form of self expression. From then on I fell in love with art."


The Foundation

From a young age, Roger found himself in the classroom drawing his friends while getting through his formal education. At school, he would often feel there was much more to life than what was being taught. Art became his escape from a world where little inspiration was felt. While this escape felt like love at first sight, his passion didn't become ignited until he reached adulthood. While in high school, art took a backseat as Roger climbed the ranks on his basketball team in hopes of becoming a professional athlete. When things didn't pan out after college, his creative outlet was there to welcome him back with open arms. 


"I remember when I got back into it. I said to myself, I'm going all the way with this. I'm going to do what I want, how I want. The approach was unapologetic and I think that's the way art should be. Instead of doing what you think is cool, it should come from your soul." 


 Roger J. Carter - Artist Replete - South Side, Chicago artist

An Experiment Gone Right

So how does an artist go from painting on a canvas to creating intricate portraits made out of toy soldiers? The Answer - Experimentation. After spending countless hours testing out different ideas, Roger gradually discovered a style that spoke to his personal taste and inspired everyone around him. The first prototypes featured vintage records cut into angles to create a face. Later he glued chess pieces together on wood to form an image. Then a handful of plastic soldiers, painted black, outlining a portrait of a woman. As the Chicago native dove deeper into different ideas, the toy soldier imagery evolved into vivid portraits of musicians, activists and writers. The soldiers, previously looked at as nothing more than a toy, took on a new meaning, as part of a greater expression. 


"For me I've always been political in my art. I've always done revolutionary characters and rebels. So in that regard, I consider my art as a form of protest. My Art Is My Protest."


Throughout the summer of 2020, between a pandemic and racial injustice, Roger found himself motivated to continue making art within his new found style. It became his own way of addressing everything that was going on in the world. He funneled the tension in the air and put all of his emotions into his art.Fela Kuti by Roger J. Cater - Artist Replete


While this particular style of work is new to the artist, his life as a creative spans far beyond a decade. Roger literally grew up alongside artists like Hebru Brantley and Max Sansing. His exploration as a creative has been relentless and while his friends have gone on to become successful, he never once questioned himself or wondered when his time would come. It's evident at this point that his time is now. During the course of our interview we witnessed him working on multiple commissions that were going to different locations throughout the U.S, Europe and Canada. The word has gradually gotten out of an artist who's evolving his craft and finding unique ways to create an image. 


As a society we often get excited over the release of a new idea. This can be in the form of a new phone, a new item in the fashion industry or in this case a  medium rarely witnessed in the art world. We see nothing but a bright future and a rising market ahead of this individual, who can be defined as nothing less than a creative genius.





Artist Replete is proud to announce a new partnership with Roger J. Carter as one of the chosen few to represent him on his journey. The artist is currently available for commission work with a wait time between 4-8 weeks. For more info on his work, feel free to contact us via email at - stay updated on finished artwork by visiting his portfolio page


  • Matthew Moore

    Tremendous artist with an amazing market and future of ahead of himself !!! It was great meeting him at his Chicago home and seeing very old work by Max hanging on his wall, which gave me a clear sense the artist grew up with him. He also had a studio at Lacuna during the time when many other artists we know today were still building their style. He’s clearly paid his dues and I’m looking forward to seeing more work from this amazing talent. Roger if you’re reading this – I just want you to know, "if you aint got no haters you ain’t poppin 🎶 Well done my friend, well done!

  • NIcole

    I am so excited to see this work and the Legacies that it represents. Thank you for this

  • Marco Ramirez

    Wow yup agreed definitely been done before. I know Max work too they stretched it putting this artist with Max’s name.

  • Melody Sawyers

    I agree with James. Joe Black did this years ago and it was dope. All you gotta do is Google it. That’s wrong for claiming this work to be a creative genius’ work. That’s like if I made a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty and got called a creative genius. Always respected Artist Replete, but you lost me on this one.

  • James Brusard

    So I wrote a comment and Artist Replete deleted it. Unless you’re praising an artist your voice doesn’t get heard here? Man you can’t have a site for art and not allow for criticism. I spoke some realness that this is copycat art. Calling Roger a creative genius is a stretch, since toy soldier art has been done over and over again. A creative genius?? Like I said if you GOOGLE toy soldier art, you’ll find so much already out there. Just say he’s an artist, instead of making people believe he is the mastermind behind this concept. Artist Replete needs to give artists shine who really are innovative, talented and creative. This is some recycled copycat art. Dude has nothing on Max Sansing or Hebru Brantley, you vomited out some cool black artist names to lump this artist in with, this is an insult to those super creative dudes. If Artist Replete deletes my comment again, cool I’ll just screenshot it and post it on a larger format.

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