Talent doesn’t always equal success in the art world — but that doesn’t mean creatives should lose hope, said Aaron Norris.
“You have to be willing to grind. Day in and day out. Keep creating, keep sculpting, keep painting, keep sketching — and don’t stop until you accomplish the things you want to accomplish,” Norris, hobby artist and a senior engineering technical specialist at Honeywell, said of ways Kansas City artists should push forward when faced with setbacks.
While the current state of the world could be an excuse to give up on creative passions, Norris — who’s become known for his large-scale paintings and passion for figures and landscapes — has found new inspiration amid growing chaos, he said in between work on his latest piece, which will capture the spirit of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win.
“I think it’s made me appreciate the time I get to spend at home with my family and I seem to be much more focused and energetic in front of the easel,” Norris said of downtime brought on by a shift to remote work and lingering results of a months’ long quarantine.
“It has allowed me the opportunity to be at home devoting an extraordinary amount of my time in the studio.”
Such perspective has given Norris pause as he ponders his future in a re-emerging world, challenged to embrace a new normal — where he’s already seen an increase of client commissions, though he’s uncertain if the pandemic has acted as a catalyst.
“I can really only speak from the perspective of what I’ve experienced through all of this. I think that a lot of artists who are working other jobs might take this time to reconsider what exactly they really want to do for the rest of their careers,” he explained, citing a rising creative energy in Kansas City that could take its arts scenes from underrated to booming.
“I have been working at a Fortune 100 company for almost 18 years now and creating art on the side. This pandemic has challenged me to examine how I want to continue to make a living and what might be possible if I just created art all day long.”
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While Norris has no plans to leave his current career in tech, his passion for creating has steadily become a reliable source of income, he said.
‘I’ve been very fortunate that people seem to like my work enough for me to turn it into a business,” he said of the good fortune he’s found in the art world, where he’s been consistently creating since high school.
“… Even if I was never able to monetize my talent, I would still create art every day.”