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Life & Work with Christian Stanley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Stanley.

Hi Christian, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Art has always been a big part of my life. I attended the University of Central Florida for their graphic design program and graduated in 2011 with a focus on illustration. I’ve been working in the design industry for close to a decade. In 2017, I began to dabble in street art/public art. I started out with an electrical box mural in the Ivanhoe District, and then things just snowballed from there. I went on to the Sam Flax Wall Mural Project and the ArtisNow project in Kissimmee soon after that. Since then, the street art opportunities keep lining up. It has ben an amazing journey so far, and I am excited to see where this takes me professionally.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
While my art has always been important to me, doing it full time felt like a pipedream until I began making murals and other street art. While I feel confident creatively, there is so much more that goes into it (small business management, the social media game, etc.) I have to give my wife, Jessica Stanley, a lot of credit in helping me power through those sort of obstacles. Having a partner in this has made everything more possible. There is no playbook for succeeding in this sector. Every job is a learning experience and has given us the opportunity to grow.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve worked in large-scale graphics for years, so transitioning to street art felt natural to me. I’ve done everything from little electrical boxes to massive parking garage walls. My style really varies right now. The art really depends on what the project calls for. I believe in incorporating the community into my work as much as possible, which is why many of my murals have callbacks to the history of the place that they are in. Each one of my murals looks a bit different from the others. While this does make them less recognizable as a brand, I feel like it allows me to try new things and stay creative and fresh. I specialize in murals, but I also do live painting events. I am certainly not a performer, but when I am painting (even in front of a large group), everything disappears and I am just doing what I love. I have competed at live painting events such as Ink Wars (Creative South), the UCF Creative Clash, and most recently, the Orlando City Art Jam. They have all been wonderful experiences, and I love meeting other creatives. I also regularly paint at Cafe TuTu Tango on iDrive.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Coming up with strong concepts, producing professional and well-made spec work, and testing out new ideas are essential, but so is communicating professionally and maintaining positive relationships with clients. I wish I could say that success in this industry is entirely about the creative process, but it is really more of maintaining a number of skills, both artistically and administratively. Something else that has been essential in moving forward artistically is simply having the courage to go for it. When I began believing in the value of my work and not holding myself back, everything changed for me professionally. It can be easy to become intimidated by all of the amazing artists already in the business, but there is room for everyone to succeed. Might as well go for it.

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