Art education opens the doors for boundless opportunities in creative expression and careers to blossom. Along the way, you meet influential mentors, have the potential to make a difference in people’s lives, and gain chances to work alongside celebrity figures, as master muralist Aaron Marable, owner of Marable Studios, has done. Outfitting the Central Florida region with hand-painted signs and mural masterpieces, Marable has an interesting portfolio of work under his belt – from restoring ceiling murals at Flagler College to decorating luxury homes to brightening the atmosphere of Orlando Theme Parks.
It’s never too early to prepare for a career in art. Marable says he took his art classes at Tavares High School, in Florida, very seriously because he knew that his future career would require as much education in the arts as possible. He started taking college portfolio classes and earning college credits early. The hard work paid off, and Marable earned a full scholarship for two years to the Florida School of the Arts in Palatka, Florida.
“This smaller school would prove to be my smartest choice,” says Marable.
He says he initially enrolled into graphic design and drawing classes, but also spent a lot of time learning how to paint on his own. “I did take one full semester in painting classes and I fell in love with the medium of brushes and paint,” says Marable. “I believe the scholarship binding me to my graphic classes and keeping painting just out of my reach is what made me want to do it more.”
Life experience and learning from other artists has a profound influence on shaping the career path of a student interested in creative arts, especially for one who aspires to become an independent artist. For Marable, it was two college professors at the Florida School of the Arts, Harry Seichepin and Phil Parker.
He says the two professors were more than 60 years old, and provided a wealth of information – going beyond the role of teachers in printmaking, drawing, design, graphics and photography.
“The best lessons came from the stories these two told us about their trials and tribulations living as an artist,” says Marable of the two professors who were best friends and professional artists since they were 18-year-old college roommates.
He also says that taking an art history course was a great benefit to him, and that the “right Art History teacher can inspire a keen sense of quality and detail.” Marable also notes that any basic business course would be a smart investment for an artist interested in pursuing art as a career.
Marable entered the business world in 2005 by establishing Marable Studios, a small, independent art company in Florida that specializes in custom murals, commissioned artwork, illustration and graphic design – a successful enterprise that has an impressive, wide-ranging portfolio to share.
For example, Marable has worked with Chase Bank and the NBA’s Orlando Magic (including Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw) to create a mural for a newly refurbished court at Pinar Elementary in Florida. Marable Studios is also responsible for designing the 100 unique buttons for an interactive teaching device (the Talk To Me 100) for children learning how to speak, or who have difficulty grasping verbal expression.
Today, Marable has a studio in Winter Park, FL, and a large workshop in Tavares, FL. He says he was able to make a name for himself in the industry by developing the following traits: quality work, patience, reliability, availability, and confidence. He also attributes making customers happy as one of the ways he’s been able to build up his clientele.
“Sometimes that means painting what I love to the best of my abilities, but often it means working outside my comfort zone and creating the customer’s interests,” says Marable of why he stands out. “I provide a service and I do it well…with as little ego as possible.”
AAron offers the following advice to students interested in becoming an independent artist: “Create a business LLC and think of yourself as a business from Day 1. I have seen a lot of wheel spinning for the first several years because of the misunderstanding that artwork isn’t related to the business world. Earn as you Learn. Go work for a professional and learn all the good and bad habits. You’ll get paid to learn new things and develop skills much faster. Don’t expect quick results. Artists that are successful most likely have a lot of experience. Never Give Up! Ever.”