PK 108: What Makes You An Artist? Dorian Vallejo Explains How to Follow Your Passion

What makes you an artist? In this podcast, Dorian Vallejo reveals the risks he took to follow his passion, and explains how to start making art with emotional impact.

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“I’d rather live for one year and do exactly what I want to do, than live for 60 years and never get to do what I want to do.

~ Dorian Vallejo

What makes you an artist?

In this podcast, Dorian Vallejo explains how he made the transition from illustration commissions to making incredible paintings full of mystery and meaning.

As you’ll discover, it’s one thing to create a beautiful piece of representational art that’s rendered to perfection…

But it’s a different challenge entirely to express deeper, more complex ideas and meanings in your work.

You’ll also learn why now is the right time to follow your true passion of becoming an artist, and why taking risks can actually be a good thing…

So What Makes You an Artist, Really?

Dorian Vallejo always knew he wanted to become an artist. In fact, he was working on commissions in his teens.

However, as his career developed, so did the way he thought about art and the creative process. He began to question common notions expressed in comic books and movies (such as heroism), and how to go deeper than just expressing this through the usual methods (ie. strong, muscular physiques and other hero-like qualities).

He began studying the writings of American scholar and mythologist, Joseph Campbell, whose book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, examines the physical journey of the archetypal hero found in mythologies worldwide.

Campbell’s book (which George Lucas also cited as an inspiration for Star Wars), was a huge influence upon Dorian, who says:

“Campbell looked at stories of heroism throughout the world and throughout time, and realised they’re all the same story. And the reason why they’re the same is because we’re people, and it’s part of a shared experience.

“The basic concept of heroism is to pursue life in an authentic, genuine manner.”

dorian-vallejo-reality-distortion-field-pencil-kings
Reality Distortion Field by Dorian Vallejo

And, realising this concept of heroism related to real-life as well as stories, Dorian set out on the path to become an artist whose work could really connect with people.

Having established himself as an illustrator, Dorian eventually became disillusioned with his work and didn’t feel as if he had the freedom to express himself.

So, one day decided to make the transition towards becoming a portrait artist instead…a risky, but very necessary, move for him to make.

He explains: “In order to live with myself, I knew I just had to make a change. At one time, all my money came from illustration work produced for my clients. I just called them all up and explained that I wasn’t going to be doing this any more after that year.”

It wasn’t always easy…and it was often downright scary. But Dorian has no regrets whatsoever, and reveals exactly what motivated him through the tough times in this week’s podcast.Here are some of the topics covered by Mitch and Dorian Vallejo in this week’s podcast:

  1. What motivates Dorian and inspires his art (00:00 – 10:43)
  2. How to make art with more meaning (10:51 – 20:41) 
  3. Why did Dorian become a fine artist? (20:50 – 26:46)
  4. Why playing it safe can really hold you back (26:56 – 40:36)

We hope this week’s podcast helps you discover what makes you an artist, and that it inspires you to follow your true passions in life.

And, if you enjoyed this podcast, why not leave us a comment below? We’d love to know what you guys think 🙂

People on this Episode:

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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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One Response to “PK 108: What Makes You An Artist? Dorian Vallejo Explains How to Follow Your Passion”

  1. How YOU Can Become a Great Artist - Interview With Tutor Kevin Murray

    […] approached Dorian Vallejo (whose podcast you can listen to here) and was lucky enough to get an invite to his house to watch this highly-acclaimed artist at […]

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