“My theory is that if you meet an artist and you don’t know they’re an artist but then you see their art, you should be able to say ‘oh, of course they do that kind of artwork’ because its so inter-woven with who they are as a person,” Joe said.

His studio and house were filled with things that inspired him, both his own art, art from close friends or art from around the world that he has a memorable connection with.

I always tell people and young artists… art is not a career, it’s a lifestyle.

Many pieces of his art look different from other pieces, and he explained that his art is always evolving and that you have to “stake a claim.” He calls a lot of his work “artistic cross-training” as his studio is a painting studio, a sculpture studio as well as a welding studio.

“You know, just like in anything that you do you have to grow and sort of stake a claim in terms of the kind of work you do. But within the genre you have to continually grow the work… I call it artistic prospering,” Joe said. He went on to describe his studio as a “happy place” with music always going and a very happy-go-lucky attitude about it.

When asked about what the title of a piece was he explained how he “waits for the piece speak to him.” He then demonstrated by talking to a small statue level with his head, asking it what its name was.

“One of the things I always tell people and young artists is that art is not a career, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not like you say oh I’m gonna become an artist and get famous and become rich. You become an artist because that’s who you are. It’s like being a priest but you can have more fun!”

And with a little bit of luck, as the next generation of artists, we can learn from his example.

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