Artist Andy Lakey began a prodigious artistic odyssey in 1989, creating original works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and drawing. A self-taught artist who painted prolifically, Lakey created over 10,000 documented works of art in a 22-year span. He was best known for inspiring many thousands of collectors and fans with his paintings of angels, after receiving a vision during a near-death experience. Through this event, he created art that would bring joy to people who were in ill health or looking for meaning in their lives. Lakey's first major exhibition was in Beverly Hills in 1997. Throughout the 1990s, he donated many of the works to charities, and many of which have become part of private collections. Lakey's art studio claims that he presently has over 30,000 collectors worldwide, including celebrities and notable people such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Pope John Paul II, Ed Asner, Kelsey Grammer, Jimmy Carter, Gerald & Betty Ford, Prince Albert of Monaco and others. Since these early beginnings, many of Lakey's collectors have also become the subjects of a series of his portraits – works based on his tracings by projection of their heads and hands – a collection Lakey titled "Silhouettes and Shadows," and which he continued until the time of his death. After 2000, Lakey continued to do commissioned works in mixed media on wood and also painted other collections, most notably a collection of heart paintings, as well as portraits and many abstracts.