Van Taylor's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Poor, Lazy Overachievers

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Cleveland, OH

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 7

  • ON DVD:

VAN TAYLOR MONROE

Shoe Artist
Obama Shoe

“When things got tough, I didn't just give up. I was going to be a success story.”

INTERESTS:

Art Fashion

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Perseverance Success Passion Experience Goals Hard Work Individualism Inspiration Risk Fulfillment Instincts Values Courage

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

affecting others, airbrush, business, comfort zone, conventional path, destiny, direction, dreams, effort, gps, making a difference, money, painting, quitting, Smithsonian, Smithsonian Museum, stock broker, stretching, tennis shoes, vision

BIOGRAPHY:

  • He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, in a family of nontraditional artists, and he's been painting since he was two years old.
  • After college, he knew he wanted to do something with business, and he figured he'd keep painting on the side.
  • He admits that he never felt an interest in business or finance, but he knew that's where the money was.
  • Eventually, after he kept hearing, "Follow your dreams," he knew he had to drop his brokerage job and focus on painting.
  • After painting for months, nothing was selling; he got to the point where he was about to be evicted from his home.
  • While the eviction notice was on still his door, he started listening to President Obama's speeches and feeling inspired.
  • A vision for a painted shoe came to him in a dream; the next day, he finished it, took a picture of it, and went about his day.
  • Suddenly, the shoe went viral; Will I. Am wore the "Obama shoe" to the BET Awards, it was displayed at the DNC, and now it's in the Smithsonian.

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