Born and raised in Florida, Patrick comes from a creative household. At just six years old, he was designing t-shirts for $40 a pop with his dad and skipping school recess to draw. And despite his family’s wishes for him to pursue a more stable career path, Patrick sought art through all outlets, leading him to become the bona fide muralist he is today.
While on a National Lampoon-style road trip with his sister, Patrick stopped by our office to share his thoughts on life as a working artist—all before visiting the nation’s largest bottle of ketchup, of course.
Here are our top five takeaways from our conversation with Patrick:
1. Have a creative escape.
As a part-time art teacher, Patrick breaks out of his (professional) creative routine a few days a week. By adding variety to his schedule, he stays inspired, energetic, and awe-inspired by the boundless imagination of children. Of course, that’s when he’s not breaking up a tiff over crayons! So, whether it’s singing in the shower or doodling in your Moleskine during a meeting, Patrick advises creatives to never stop partaking in the small activities that provoke your artistic spirit and alleviate day-to-day stresses. Something can come of it if you just create the avenue.
2. Be nice.
Being nice goes a long way, especially when it comes to business. Positivity spreads like wildfire, changing everything you do. Patrick makes an effort to connect with clients directly—giving them a personal phone call or grabbing a bite to eat to discuss a project; emails and texts are too impersonal. He spent years trying to get into galleries in different locations, applying via email time and again. In the end, all it took was an in-person visit, a smile, and a quick chat to get picked up by three galleries within one week.
3. Put it out there.
Criticism is something we all have to deal with on a regular basis. Between negative feedback from clients and endless rounds of edits, creatives can take some major blows to the ego. Patrick offers up one poignant piece of advice during these times: step back and ask yourself whether you are happy with what you have created. If it is unique and makes you proud—no matter how bizarre or different your work is—there will always be someone who truly connects with it. When you push and challenge your own expectations, you can surprise yourself; it’s pretty amazing when it happens. In the end, you’ll stay positive and content with the results, no matter what.
4. Stay curious.
Need inspiration? Psychedelics aren’t the answer, says Patrick. By maintaining a childlike curiosity and wonder for the world, he’s remained amazed by his surroundings. Patrick’s favorite thing to do is go to the mountains and just breathe the fresh, crisp air—it’s just the sort of activity that’s at the core of all his inspirations. Clear your mind and stick to what you feel. Make time to dream. Walks are good, and trips are even better. Live life and see what happens.
5. Tell your story.
Nature is a prominent force in Patrick’s paintings. Drawing from personal experiences and places he has traveled to, he highlights his environment and view of the world in the art he creates. Octopuses are often at the foreground of his works as his favorite animal, which reflects the fluidity and versatility of life. A recent work featured two jellyfishes, signifying relationship and faith. Everything has meaning, and your art explores the different realms of why.
You can learn more about Patrick Maxcy at www.patrickmaxcyart.com and follow him on his social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Tip: His Instagram features road trip sketches from every stop; our favorite is his Encinitas beach doodle.