I had wanted to be a working artist since I was kid, I never had dreams of making millions or of becoming the next Banksy, but I always knew that I wanted to make a living from my craft. A couple of years ago I was struggling, selling bits and pieces on Facebook, when my wife came in and says to me that I am going to be a dad, naturally my world exploded in that moment. The money that I was making at that time was not enough to support a family so before my daughter was born I knew I had to get my act together. I spoke to my wife and said that I’d try for 6 months more, and if nothing came up then I would go to get a more traditional job. A month later, I met Peter Max at an art gallery.
Just Go For It
I had followed Peter’s work for some time and when I saw him there, on his own, I just knew that this was an incredible cache to pitch myself to a true great of the art world. I summoned up the courage, walked over and stole a few minutes of his time. I probably scared hi a little as I unleashed this diatribe-style speech about who I was and what I wanted to do, and he began to laugh. I began to show him photos on my phone of my work, and he invited me to meet him at his studio the next day, amazing!
Initially I actually met with one of Peter’s agents, and we enjoyed some smalltalk until Peter arrived. We sat down for a chat about art and inspiration and things like that, and then he said to me that I was in luck as he was beginning a new program for new artists, and that I could be the first person in. The plan was to have a local exhibition and see how people enjoyed our artwork. I went home that night and began to create like never before, in preparation for the gallery exhibition the following month. Peter was amazing during this time, staying in touch, allowing me to use his studio, and supporting me a lot.
When the night finally came for me to show off my 9 pieces, I could only see work from Peter, and no other ‘young’ artists. Peter then explained to me that this would be our show only, and I almost passed out. Each painting went that night, I made more than I ever have before, and I have since been commissioned to produce more pieces. Peter still stays in touch and I will be forever grateful for what he did for me, and proud of myself for taking that chance to go and speak to him.
The lesson of the story, when you see an opportunity, grab it with both hands.