Sitting in front of a café sporting shaggy locks and a pair of trendily weathered jeans, Chris Judy is the picture of artistic, edgy cool. It’s hard to believe that the same alternative-infused guy was part of corporate just a few years ago. He says the jump from businessman to painter took a lot of “praying and soul searching,” but three years later, he has a flourishing art career, true happiness and no regrets. 

 

So, how’d you get your start in art?

Ever since I was a kid, I always liked to create things. I even used to make up random recipes in the kitchen, which I’m sure my mom really appreciated. Then I got older, and I realized I had a talent for drawing, painting and seeing things from different perspectives. It was really more of a gift because it just came naturally to me. 

 

Did you pursue art with formal training?

Yes, I studied art some in high school, but I ended up graduating from UT Austin with a degree in advertising, where I was involved with the artistic side of ads and ad campaigns. I was actually working as a financial advisor when I decided I wanted to start painting on the side, and I was lucky enough to have some local artists teach me about paints and canvases. The rest was just the result of experimenting and doing research.

 

How did you decide to make the move from business finance to art?

I have always loved art because of the intensity I feel when I paint. That intensity just wasn’t there when I was a financial advisor. So I did a lot of praying, and I believed that God would take me in the right direction. I knew I had a gift, and I wanted to share it. So, I decided to start small by just hanging a few of my paintings in local restaurants and just see what happened; so I did, and my work started to sell. Then art collectors and friends started to commission me to do paintings for them. When my painting took off, I left my business career, but oddly enough, my finance background has helped me run the business and networking side of being an artist, so it kind of worked out.

 

And what’s life like now that you’re a fulltime artist?

Painting has taught me patience, because when I’m working on a piece, I can’t force it — I just have to let it evolve on its own. And most importantly, art has brought happiness to my life. As long as I’m painting, I’m happy, and I think life is all about doing what makes you happy.

 

How would you describe your artwork? And what inspires you to paint?

I’d say it’s abstract expressionism, which really just means my work is uninhibited. When I first started, I was more worried about painting something that would sell, but I’ve learned to just express my emotion through my work instead of worrying so much about how it looks. I’m a very emotional person, and I’m not scared to show that in my work: If I’m sad, I’ll listen to sad music and do a sad painting. I also take a lot of inspiration from my personal life. My mother and brother are both cancer survivors, and I think about them often when I paint because I’m inspired by their strength. My entire family and strong spirituality are really huge inspirations for my artwork. But the people I paint for also inspire me. If someone commissions me, I like to know their personal stories so that I can incorporate that in my work because I want the painting to have personal significance to them, and I want people to feel emotion when they look at my art — that’s really important to me.

 

For information about Chris Judy, visit www.chrisjudyart.com


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