We had the good fortune of connecting with John Petrey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi John, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve owned my own business since 1980. One in the commercial art field for 26 years, and one in the fine art field for the past 15+ years. It was all I knew. Both my parents had their own businesses when I was growing up so that was what influenced me to “not have a real job”.

I’m a bit of a control freak as well, and driven to succeed. So, not having total say-so never made sense to me. Even though I’ve always had various types of “clients” to please, and still do, but I will turn down projects that don’t challenge me creatively.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After I left the Advertising field (Commercial Photography and Directing), I utilized the tools and knowledge that I gained in that field, to analyze in my head the Fine Art business, Who the buyers were, who made the financial decisions regarding purchasing art, age demographics, and fine art trends. I was able to jump in feet first, create work that sells, and promote who I am and what I create.

My “Dress Series”, sculptural metal, and repurposed works, ranging in size from 27″ tall to larger than life, was what I started out creating and still do today. The work initially reflected what I was exposed to in my youth, American half hour sitcoms ! Leave it to Beaver, Father knows Best, and Gilligan’s Island to name a few. The pieces have a nostalgic quality of “Days gone by”. Then the influence expanded from Medieval fashion to ultra-contemporary .

Since then I have created other bodies of sculptural work, but my Dress Series still shines strong.

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?
I’m a motorcycle junkie. Own six, always want more !

One of my best friends lives in Florida ( he’s a Flat-lander – Ha Ha). So when he comes up to visit for a few days we ride the twisty road of the Smokey Mountains. Long days, riding fast, clicking off a lot of miles. We both love it and we see a lot of great scenery too.

We stop at Mom and Pop restaurants, plan on stopping at a few sights, stay at hotels along the way, but clicking of the miles is something we both love.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My initial success Shoutout goes to my parents whom are no longer with us. Growing up where all I saw was the need to put food on the table, have a strong professional reputation, and being a strong example for my children, will always be with me.

I also, later on, give a Shoutout to my wife Peggy, who supported my career change 15+ years ago when she saw i was “done” with the pressure of the Advertising field. That support, and her continued support is very important to me.

Website: johnpetrey.com

Instagram: @johnpetreysculptor

Facebook: JohnPetreySculptor

Image Credits
All photographs Copyright John Petrey

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