We were lucky to catch up with Raymond Allen recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Raymond thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What do you think matters most in terms of achieving success?
It takes determination and a lot of hustle to be a full-time artist. It’s one thing to be an artist, it is another to be a paid artist. I was told for years by family and friends to share and sell my work; however, I didn’t see what they saw in me and my work. We have all heard, you are your biggest critic, and it holds true. I didn’t think my work was anything special, or at least not good enough to sale. I eventually took the leap. and although my first works weren’t the best or most popular, slowly but surely, I found what works for me. Four years later, I am going strong and, in my opinion, putting out consistent and beautiful works of art. It all comes down to sticking with it through the thick and thin and always move forward.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Hi, I’m Ray, and I currently reside in San Antonio, TX with my wife and daughter. I’ve been an artist of some sort from the beginning. As a young boy, I loved to draw and sketch, typically cartoons or animals I found interesting. However, I never thought for a moment that I would become a full-time artist in my mid 30s. I often get asked if I attended art school, and though I do have a couple of college years under my belt they were not in the pursuit of an art degree. Later in life, I began utilizing power tools for various reasons, especially those in the wood-working world – typical home projects and weekend warrior pursuits. I went on to owning a business as a contractor for a short stint. I even built a tiny house from scratch using an old city bus. To put it simply, I have always had a DIY approach to most things in life. My work and building experience are what eventually drove me to using wood for my art. I love how versatile, textural and beautiful woods are naturally, and it makes for beautiful art as is or transformed. Mixed media on wood make up the bulk of my work; digital art is something new for me, but a form of art I have quickly grown to love as well. What I have learned about myself is that I am in love with the process of creating something. The product itself for me has less meaning than the time and thought that went into it. In its own way my work is like therapy for the mind and spirit.
Have you ever had to pivot?
I have had a few jobs that lead up to this point in my life. I worked in advertising for 10 years, and not the exciting advertising people tend to envision. This was the boring, newspaper ads kind of advertising. From there, I worked several blue-collar jobs, such as cable installation, a short stint as a turbine mechanic, I even owned my on contracting business. All of them paid well, some very well, but they fell short making me happy. I wanted to do something that I love, and that’s why I am doing what I do today. When you realize how much of your life is spent working, that should put things into perspective.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
What I find the most rewarding, is working directly with my patrons. Commissions get a mixed response from artist. Some artists love them, others rather stay as far away as possible, because they can come with complications. I love that people reach out to me and want me to create something special for them. It’s an honor and my pleasure to create unique 1 of a kind works for my clients, and that they trust me to do so.
- Website: https://www.rayallencreations.art/
- Instagram: rayallencreations