Getting to Know Mixed-Media Artist Kent Youngstrom

I recently discovered mixed-media artist Kent Youngstrom, who has turned his life unexpectedly into one that’s completely devoted to making art and inspiring others in creativity and the business of art. A painter with a background in graphic and interior design, his passion is infectious—as you’ll see in his guest blog post below. The first sentence alone is likely to spark something new for you—today.

Lucky for us, Kent is teaching classes at both CREATE Chicago (August 13-17) and CREATE Dallas (September 17-21). His offerings include How to Sell Your @#($*(# and Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Ways to Make Your Art Work Accentuate Your Home's Best Features. Enjoy this glimpse of Kent's style here, and be inspired.

Hoping you seize the day,

You don’t need to watch the next episode of house hunters. Trust me. They already bought
the house. Get your hands dirty now! Photos by

Everyday you wait is a day you won’t get back.

I’m kenT, and I’m an artist. But not the tortured kind. I create one-of-a-kind images—no two are exactly the same. Some are big. Some are small. Some have words. Some have none.

But what I really do is make people feel happy + free. They don’t even have to know why. After all, happy + free is a great place to be. (Share this quote on Twitter!)

I’m pretty quiet—most of the time. I’m capable of volcanic eruptions of energy and frenzied moments of eruption. It’s just that I’m better with a brush than I am with words. In many ways it can be hard for me to talk about my work—that’s why I paint—I’m trying to show you how I feel.

I am constantly asked by other artists how I’m able to make art a full-time gig. Generally, my answer is not taken well. It’s not pretty and it’s not easy. I didn’t start with a business plan, a studio, fancy business cards, or an art blog.

It’s the journey, not the destination. #getworkdone #repeat

I don't really know when I started. But it was slow. I have a family so I couldn’t just jump ship and announce that I was an artist. I looked for clients during the day, took phone orders for unfortunate pleated khakis by evening. When I could stay awake I would paint a little after that, then do it all over again the next day. Honestly—not the peak of my artistic career—but it was part of the journey.

If I had only known then…

Actually—you do. You know it now and you can feel it—so do it. Do what you love—now. Do it at night. Wake up two hours early. Make it your second job. Replace your television schedule with a making stuff schedule. Whatever you have to do. Do it. Now.

Don’t figure it out—because you won’t. I still haven’t; no one has. Don’t wait for clients, don't wait to be debt free, don’t wait for the right situation, for things to settle down; for your kids to go to school, leave the house, or get out of diapers. Don’t wait for fewer hours at work, don’t wait for summer, don’t wait for winter, don’t wait to settle down—don’t wait.

Everyday you wait is a day you won’t get back.

Reveal yourself. What makes your abstract different from my abstract?

The world is full of people and corporations who claim to be authentic, creative, game-changing, innovative, inspiring, and paradigm-shifting. Sounds great, but that’s not good enough. I want to be with/work with/collect the work of someone who shows fall-down, crazy stupid love for their work. I want to be surrounded by people who are alluring, beguiling, blazing, bursting, epic, frenzied, ravenous, and volcanic. I want passion to erupt. ~kenT (Follow on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram)


Art Business, Blog


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