We had the good fortune of connecting with Gary Schechner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gary, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As COVID was negatively impacting the 2020 economy (and more specifically, my marketing consulting Clients’ businesses), I was really looking more for the excuse to dive in and embrace a ‘second act’ for myself. I had recently started developing a way to commercialize my art & design from one-off commissions into a lifestyle brand that I hoped could develop into a recurring revenue stream. I began that journey with an IG-influencer that helped me develop the model and infrastructure that could scale and it eventually morphed into abstractRPM (abstractRPM.com)
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I came (back) to the art world relatively late as I stopped my formal fine art training out of high school and decided to play it ‘safe’ as an MBA Marketing & Advertising executive for the next 25+ years of my career. While I’d always been a ‘Closet Creative’ with the roles I played at both the agencies and Clients, it wasn’t until I started a ‘100 Day Doodle Challenge’ that the hook was set. I found that revisiting my love for drawing (and painting) was reignited through this daily exercise where I would go on to produce nearly 2,000 abstract doodles in less than 3 years.
In 2019, this lead to my successfully submitting my work to a Chicago gallery for a juried competition and the subsequent commissions and connections I was quickly making in the motorsports enthusiast space.
The biggest turning point came in 2020 as I made the switch to using the iPad to digitally create my designs that could be immediately turned into graphic t-shirts via print-on-demand thru Shopify eCommerce. This pivot to digital and the work I/we put into getting there was a big learning curve, but I had a lot of resources and support to make it happen.
I think the biggest lesson that I CONTINUE to learn is two-fold: 1) Patience and 2) Remembering not to get discouraged. Nothing happens as quickly as we’d like it to and there are still so many things I am sure I have yet to learn. But when you look back, it’s the little steps forward that should give you confidence that you’re on the right path and doing the right things to encourage you to keep going.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Coming out of COVID and with CA re-opening as of mid-June, it’s hard to say what ISN’T going to be a great time for anyone I am showing around. Obviously, with our favorable weather, outdoors is where it’s at. Hollywood Bowl. Dodgers game. Petersen Automotive Museum (a favorite of mine to scratch my love of cars!). The Getty for a picnic. Rustic Canyon and Westridge Trail for some epic hiking and views of the city to the sea. Malibu Canyon for the best, twisty motorcycle rides. Neptune’s Net for the fried fish, people watching and cooler coastal temps.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
abstractRPM really got its legs through the enthusiasm and encouragement of the motorsports space and in particular, Porsche owners and brand fans on social media. My abstract interpretation of the various Porsche-inspired car gauges, badges and shapes seemed to resonate with this audience. From there, I was further embraced by the Ford Mustang community where I quickly developed a following with regional clubs. But it was the help and advice from other artists (traditional and digital), as well as the hands-on eCommerce expertise offered by a friend, that enabled abstractRPM.com to scale more effortlessly.