Last year, as my artwork began to gain attention, a friend of mine connected me with a prominent person in the national art community.
We discussed my work, the many challenges that artists face to “make it” in the industry, and he outlined the business side of art.
Long story short: he told me the only way to be successful as an artist was to contact art galleries, and hope that they would endorse me and promote my work.
However, according to him, my artwork is NOT gallery-worthy and, as a result, I have NO chance of succeeding.
My reply? If galleries have no interest in my work, then I’ll bring my artwork directly to the people.
He scoffed and let me know that he has been in the art world for a long time, and has NEVER heard of an artist doing that successfully.
Never?! So, it’s pretty much impossible?
I love it when people tell me I cannot accomplish something. I truly enjoy a good challenge.
I immediately got to work, and would often draw until midnight, 1am, 2am… every night.
See, the “art guru” failed to recognize one important distinction in my pursuit: this is about so much more than creating great art.
It’s about people.
It’s about bringing our community together.
It’s about making a positive difference.
It’s about getting others to believe that, if a trailer park kid from a small town can follow his dreams, then so can they.
It’s about all of that, and much more. The art is merely the glue that holds it all together.
So, how did a guy who just starting drawing again last year go from where I was… to where I am now?
It wasn’t me.
It was you.
Maybe you purchased a print. Maybe you shared my work on social media. Maybe you told a friend about my art.
It all added up until, eventually, there was a tipping point.
A wise man (who also happened to overcome the obstacles set forth by his industry) once said: “I got my city right behind me. If I fall, they got me.” (do you know who said that?) smile emoticon
Soon people from literally all over the world wanted be a part of what we were building. I’ve shipped prints to almost every state, Canada, Norway, Philippines, Germany, England, and many other countries.
In other words, I took my art TO THE PEOPLE, and you responded with open arms.
The result? Last year WE donated over $50,000 to charity. All from my art.
The goal for this year?
Sound crazy? Impossible?
Yeah, I love hearing that.
Time to get to work.