Art Wisdom – The Most Important Art Lesson I Ever Had

It was the early 2000’s and I had just gotten out of a bad relationship and was questioning what direction I was supposed to head in life when I decided to look into starting a home based business and this is when I encountered Andy Lakey.

He was already well-known around the world due to the global success of his “Angel Paintings” that he had been avidly producing throughout the 1990’s and as he was getting older, Andy was diversifying his business interests to other areas besides just artwork.

About The Business 

The business was a travel based MLM so I decided to give it a shot and request more information about the company, little did I know that I would soon be on the phone with an artist who had already achieved the success with his artwork that myself and other artists in my small circle of influence only dreamed about

After filling out the form I received a call back by a recruiter for the company and after telling him that art was also one of my passions he called up Andy Lakey, who was also involved with the company at the time, and we talked mostly about art for 30 minutes before he invited me to a hotel gathering in Del Mar, CA to learn more about the business.

Andy Lakey
Artist Andy Lakey with Painting No. 8 (2011). (PRNewsFoto/Contemporary Visual Arts)

My Meeting With Andy Lakey

I was excited because he also invited me to bring my portfolio of artwork so he could check it out and offer me his feedback on my work so I got ready for the event not knowing that I would receive the most important art lesson and life lesson that I would ever receive from Andy Lakey himself.

The day of the business meeting arrived and I drove up to Del Mar, found the hotel and was quickly ushered into a conference room where I listened to a boring MLM recruiting meeting for over one hour while all I wanted to do was meet Andy Lakey and talk art.

Finally! The meeting had ended and even though the head recruiter tried to push all attendees into signing up, I made a “beeline” for Andy and waited my turn to talk with him about art.

He had a group of people around him listening as he talked with them about how he just completed a small walk on cameo in Swordfish, the latest John Travolta movie at the time and once he finally finished talking, I was able to introduce myself and we briefly talked about my artwork before he invited everyone to go out to dinner with him.

Thankfully, there was a seafood restaurant nearby and we all drove over to the restaurant and sat together in a booth where we mostly talked business before the subject turned to art.

I knew Andy Lakey from seeing on television in the 1990’s talking about his angel paintings and I had actually did some angel inspired artwork at the time as well. I showed him my art portfolio and he liked what he saw then asked me to call him the following week where he would give me the phone number to his art dealer in Los Angeles.

Andy Lake Art
Andy Lakey – Angel Painting

The Most Important Art Lesson I Would Ever Have 

After looking at my art he gave me the most important art lesson I would ever have. “Jeremy, the most important thing you can ever do with your artwork is be ready to give it away.”

Everyone at the table stopped and stared at him in awe as he offered this sage advice.

“Most artists hoard their artwork and never show it sell it. This is bad because, their artwork never makes it out into the world. I learned quite early in life that I had to be ready to give my artwork away if I ever wanted to be successful in my art career and it worked” – Andy said.

After this brief encounter with Andy Lakey I realized that I had to be willing to give my work away and not always hold onto it with the goal of showing or selling it later because tomorrow may never come.

What Happened After The Meeting

Unfortunately after this time with Andy I never saw him again. One week after this meeting 9-11 happened and the travel company that I was interested in when out of business following the terror attacks because nobody wanted to go anywhere for a brief time after what happened.

Sadly, Andy Lake died in 2012 following health problems but his legacy and art lives on as it’s still displayed in galleries around the world and sought after by collectors.

What’s the most important life lesson or art lesson that you’ve ever had? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

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