Updated: Dec 9, 2020
My Alma Mater UMBC, has invited me to speak during their Entrepreneur Lecture Series in the Spring Semester. The title of my speech is, "Navigating the Business of Art." Due to COVID, this will be a virtual event. I am super excited about this opportunity to share my experiences as an artist and entrepreneur with the students and faculty at UMBC. Please keep reading to understand the backstory of how I reached this point....
Before opening Winkel Gallery, even before I started painting, I was writing poetry and motivational speeches which provided me the opportunity to speak at Universities, Churches and even my old Middle School.
Let's take a moment and travel back in time to around 2013. At the time painting was just a new hobby and I had not yet developed a passion to pursue the visual arts because I was already doing something that I "thought" I loved, which was writing and public speaking.
Throughout my life I have always been that friend or family member that people came to for advice or to provide an ear because I was just a great listener that people could confide in. I have always taken great pride in giving my honest opinion, sometimes I can be a bit blunt but my intentions are always pure. I take even more pride in not judging people, which in turn made people feel comfortable talking with me and sharing their deepest emotions.
So when the time came in my life to travel around the country to help inspire young kids, my peers, and sometimes even adults, through poems and public speeches I was ecstatic. I did this consistently for about 2 years. But little did I know that I would soon fall deep in love with painting and the more I painted, the less I wrote. I initially started painting to overcome a writers block I was having. I was trying to spark some creative juices. But painting healed me in a way that writing could never do. As my passion for painting continued to grow, my desire to write and speak slowly started to fade away.
Fast forward until today, I've had Winkel Gallery for over 5 years now, I've sold over 200 paintings all across the world and I'm confident in saying I have found my purpose in life. But to be honest, I have always felt that my life would circle back around to the writing and public speaking. I honestly believe life is all about timing and at the time of me writing and speaking, I feel like my journey and story had just begun. My material was limited and I was still learning who I was as a person and still overcoming obstacles in my personal life. Painting helped heal me and now painting has placed me in a position to relive the one thing that helped jump-start my painting career, which is writing & speaking. I'm honored to be asked by UMBC to give this speech and I'm looking forward to what my future holds.