I was born with Amblyopia ( slang: Lazy eye ). Amblyopia is quite common effecting 1-5% of the population and basically means that both your eyes don't work properly together, and you'll have limited depth perception. In Year 7 Art class I had a fantastic art teacher named Mr. Mudge who would encourage me with my creativity and my passion for art. With landscape drawings and realism, artworks I struggled to get it right as I didn't have the right depth perception to accurately create what was wanted.
It really frustrated me not being about to get my drawings or artworks perfect that over the years of creating art I quit well over 10 times. I still have hundreds of unfinished drawings, painting and artworks that I started but got frustrated with and discarded. There was periods when I wouldn't draw for 2-3 months at all with absolutely no motivation.
In 2010 I started to experiment with commissioned tattoo illustrations. Looking at a way to earn money doing what I love: art. I slowly found that to work to such a specific brief inhibited my creativity, Again I was disappointed with no clear map or plan on how to Moneytise my passion for art without prostituting my style. In life I believe there is a few noticeable turning points, moments when you can turn left but you turn right.. when you decide a path and everything leading up to that moment pushes you in one direction.
Late 2012 I was in Northern China (Harbin) visiting my girlfriends family and checking out the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. For over a month I was in a place where no one spoke english, internet was very limited due to the great firewall of china and it was -30, and as cold as -40 !!!! yes.. FREEZING. I had a huge amount of time to think and started working on a painting. This was my "ah - huh" moment. I had spent the past decade working in sales, doing business development jobs and hadn't really applied this to my Art Career. When I returned to sydney I formulated a plan to contact every single brand / company that would be aligned with my style and discuss the opportunity of a collaboration.
Working in various sales roles Rejection was no issue for me, I felt excited as the goal had finally clicked and I was now moving towards it. 350+ calls/emails later and I landed my first colab. My First Colab with G-Star Raw ! from there I've worked with Pie Face Bakery, Black Milk Clothing and various other big name brands. I'm not too sure if Im lucky or even if I'm talented, but I am definitely happy that every time I quit Art I came back to it. I'm happy that it hasn't all been so easy cause I definitely appreciate all the support you and others provide, the nice comments and the feedback both positive and not.
Social media has helped immensely because my style is a little strange and not always accepted in Galleries , which was my only options post-Facebook. I hope my little story helps to motivate you as an artist and don't listen to the "starving artist" myth. If your smart and stick to your style, you'll find the right crowd of people that appreciate it.