We had the good fortune of connecting with David Grizzle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Probably my work ethic and my drive. I paint a lot. I try and get in 8 hours of painting / Working a day. And I often work on weekends. You have to put in the work. And I love the work so it doesn’t feel like work to me. It feels like vacation. I also am constantly trying to come up with new ways to put my self out there and find new revenue streams. All the while balancing a healthy home life with my wife and kids!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think I am most proud of my ability to paint a variety of different subjects and not be labeled as one type of artist. I paint a lot of photo realistic paintings but I also do a lot of abstracts. I get excited when I get a new commission or ideas and its something I have never painted before. I got to where I am today professionally by painting everything that has been thrown at me. Dogs, Cats, Athletes, Landscapes, Kids, Horses, Celebrities, body parts, etc. I was taught in high school art class that the way you improve and get better is by drawing and painting everything you see, so I’ve tried to hold onto that through out my career. Plus it keeps things fresh for me. When ever I travel or go on vacation I like to bring my mole skin along to sketch. It helps keep my art synapse’s firing. Also, I’m probably most excited when my coffee has kicked in and I’m deep in a painting and I’m in the zone and everything thing is flowing and I’m thinking about nothing and everything at the same time and I see what I need to do three steps ahead on this painting and the next, and the next. I day dream about getting back to that spot when I’m not in it. I also dream about new paintings that need to be painted and songs that need to be written. All of these ideas bubble up in me until I have to get in the studio and get them out. I would go crazy if I didn’t have a outlet for these things to manifest. I run a lot also. I usually use that time to think about what I need to get done in the studio and ideas seem to come to me then as well. And that makes me happy. I think anyone who does anything for a long amount of time will inadvertently have challenges that arrive. I know Balancing family life with work can be tough on families, but with my work its been a blessing. I get to wake up and walk out to my studio and paint. I can hear my kids playing inside or doing school work and I can walk in and see them anytime I want. And they are out in the studio with me a lot, stealing pencils and paper or painting on canvas that Ive set up for them. I think an important lesson I’ve learned is how to correct mistakes while painting. A Lot of times mistakes on canvas can be amazing as in, I didn’t know I could do that and it just improved the painting and now I have a new skill!! Or, other times, especially on a realistic painting, its like, F@#K! I need to fix that asap!! So you learn small techniques to fix it quick and move on and not worry about it. I remember when I first started out, it took me a lot of time to fix the mistakes, but you eventually get better at it. My abstracts always start off one way and end up looking different than how I saw them in my head. That’s why Ill paint multiple of the same theme sometimes cause I want to get it right, so that I I’m happy with it. But that’s one of the great things or blessings about being creative and making mistakes, it’s that some of my best work has come from me trying to do one thing, and it turns out completely wrong. I’m on pace to paint over 100 paintings again this year…between commissions, portraits and abstracts, I generally have 20 or so paintings going at once all at different levels of completion. I like to set out my day involving the same color pallet. So ill work on 4 to 6 paintings in one day all in the same color. Then maybe the next do all Black and White. Then on the weekends, I like to do abstracts. I love what I do, so it doesnt feel like work. If it ever starts feeling like I work, I go and paint a abstract!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I Live in south Austin. I love Taccorido on Oltorf and 1st. I usually get the Chicken tacos on corn tortillas with a side of their chipotle mayo and green salsa. I also love the Al Pastor tacos. I also like Matts Famous El Rancho on south Lamar. I like their Brisket Tacos with Charro beans and Gaucamole. Try to sit outside when youre there. Fresas on 1st street is great also. I love their Smoky Mezcal Margaritas. Its a fun family atmosphere here with lots of kids running around while parents get a break with adult beverages and queso. I also love Thai Fresh, Bombay Dhaba Indian, and Elizabeth Street Cafe…all part of my neighborhood also.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out to Stephen R Covey, who wrote, ” The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. And my buddy Ty for buying that Car. I was staying at a friends house in Dallas one time, after him paying me to drive his new car from California to his house in Texas. I was flying back home the next day and I needed something to read. And I found this book in his spare room and started to read it. I had never read any self help or advice books before but this one really hit home. It put a structure to how to operate on a daily, hourly, weekly, monthly basis…and taught me how to sharpen my social, spiritual, physical, and talent blades so that I could excel and become the productive person I am today.
Photo Credits: Frida Khalo Grizzle