PK 022: Jared Fiorino on Rollercoasters, Fashion, and Going After Your Dreams

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Jared’s work on the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit attraction in Orlando, Florida

“Don’t chase money – it doesn’t buy you happiness, it only buys you stuff!”

~ Jared Fiorino

He’s designed rollercoasters for theme parks and worked with some of the coolest clothing labels, but, for Jared Fiorino, the ride is only just beginning. Find out why in his podcast interview…

Growing up in New England, he loved drawing but found that few of his friends shared his love of creativity. So, as he went through high school, he decided to put his dreams of becoming an artist on the backburner while he pursued a more straightforward career path.

However, after a year studying marine biology at the University of New Hampshire, he heard the calling of his first true passion – art. It was then that he decided to abandon his scientific studies and head for sunny Florida, where he got accepted at Ringling College of Art + Design.

Ringling College and Inspiration

“It was a great experience,” he says. “The tutors there worked with you on a personal basis and helped you grow. It was great to be part of a community of like-minded friends and I really miss working with those guys. That’s why I think it’s so important to stay in touch and continue to inspire each other.”

Looking for work after graduation can be a daunting prospect for many students, but Jared was lucky enough to get interviewed and hired by Universal Studios while still on campus. He soon found himself designing and producing images for a rollercoaster ride being built as part of the company’s Universal Creative project.

The attraction, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, was a great opportunity for Jared to express his love of hip hop, street art and urban imagery. And, even though he’d had no previous experience of designing theme part rides, he found himself donning a hard hat, wandering around the construction site and offering advice to the whole team.

You can watch Jared’s work in action here:

It was an incredible project for a graduate fresh out of art school to work on, but Jared had already decided to move on and follow his dreams. In May 2009, as his project with Universal Studios ended, he packed his bags for New York after going there to see a James Jean exhibition with friends and feeling totally inspired by the Big Apple’s creative energy.

From Rollercoasters to Streetwear

After pushing his portfolio to numerous companies, he found a home at Marc Eckō , working as a freelance artist on this iconic clothing brand’s T-shirts and urban apparel. Through this, he also found work producing designs for the hugely popular skatewear label, Zoo York. In turn, this led to working full-time with Ralph Lauren on this brand’s Denim & Supply range.

“Trends move incredibly fast,” explains Jared, “so the streetwear manufacturing process is often seven months from your initial designs to being sold in stores. You’ve always got to stay on top of things, see what people in NYC and LA are wearing, and take advice from trend researchers so you know what’s gonna be hot next year.”

The fast-moving world of working as an artist for some of the world’s biggest clothing brands may seem exciting, but producing work for other people all the time can be draining for an artist.

That’s why Jared is now looking to make the transition to becoming a full-time artist in his own right. “I’ve been working in the corporate sector for six years, and now’s the time to start producing work for myself,” he explains, saying he wants to launch his own clothing range and have solo exhibitions.

Pursuing Your Artistic Dreams

He adds: “With corporate work, you get the steady paycheck and the sense of security, but you get nothing for yourself. It’s like you’re left with no identity sometimes.

“It’s very important to have a plan when you go out on your own though, so I’ve been training as a bartender so I can have a steady income for three days a week while I work on my own stuff the rest of the time.

“I’ve been lucky enough to make lots of connections while working in NYC, so I hope these will help me get my work into galleries etc. Making and creating things is what makes me happy, so that’s what I need to go after.”

Jared’s advice for artists who want to follow a similar path is to find a way of sustaining yourself while you pursue your dreams. “Try and make sure you’ve got enough to live comfortably, but don’t chase money – it doesn’t buy you happiness, it only buys you stuff!” he says.

In three years’ time, Jared hopes to move to California (“The weather’s much nicer!” he laughs) and become an established artist with his own fanbase and range of clothing. With an enviable sense of self-belief, he says: “I know it’s attainable. I know I can do it!”

We’re pretty sure he’ll do it, too.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why you should always try and follow your dream
  • How to end up working for some of the world’s biggest clothing brands
  • How to sustain yourself while carving out a career as a freelance artist

People on this Episode:

Mitch
Jared

Mentioned in the episode:

Jared’s Website
Jared on Facebook
Jared on Twitter
Jared’s blog

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Wednesday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Mitch

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