We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Bond and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, what do you attribute your success to?
There is a quote by the philosopher and theologian, Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Simply put, my success as an artist and writer is due to the fact that I write and paint the words and images words that make me come alive. And in a beautiful synchronicity, they happen to spark the same flame in my collectors. While I did study fine art, I received my degree in graphic design and commercial art, and had a successful graphic/web designer and illustration business for 20+ years. I always painted a bit on the side – sometimes not more than one or two paintings a year – but they were paintings direct from my heart and personal experience. I was under no pressure to sell or to worry about creating images that I thought might appeal to buyers. Over time, my artistic vision and technique became more refined and the demand for my fine art began to overtake the demand for my graphic design services. I turned over my business to my partner and started painting and writing full time in 2011. I am at a point where I sell most every original painting I create in a given year and have a 12 month wait for commissioned works. A secondary factor in my success is that through the years of running my design studio I learned the elements of good customer service and running a successful business, which many fine artists struggle with.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I create paintings in the genre of Magic Realism, where fantastic and symbolic elements merge with realistic scenes. In essence, I paint the dreamworld. The unique imagery coupled with my mastery of realism honed over many years as an illustrator allows me to create paintings that draw people in – as if they stepped into a dream. Additionally, I create a narrative for each of my paintings. It might be a poem, or short piece of fiction or sometimes simply a description of the allegorical nature and inspiration behind the given artwork. Either way, these writings bring viewers further in to my artistic world for a deeper experience.
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 live in San Clemente, in south Orange County. Some of the things I would include in an itinerary of the area would be: A morning surf at San Onofre Trails. This is a stretch of beach and cliffs south of town where Camp Pendleton starts that is raw and undeveloped – what California used to be. Sea life is teaming, crowds are minimal and the surf can get epic on its day. Lunch of fish and chips at the Fisherman, which is a restaurant that sits literally over the water on top of the San Clemente pier. A sunset cocktail at the outside bar of the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel. which overlooks Salt Creek Beach, Catalina Island and where some of my art happens to be currently hanging. Dinner at The Coastal Kitchen in Dana Point. They make a killer chicken sandwich. A concert at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano which is a hole in the wall venue with amazing musicians passing through. Next day would be kicking around Laguna Beach where I grew up. Simply walking around town, visiting the galleries and exploring the beaches and coves is a favorite past time of mine. And of course, culminating at the world-famous Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters, where I also exhibit my art every summer along with 140 of the best artists in California. The night ends with a performance of Pageant itself, which is a live recreation by actors of famous works of art.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shout out is to my wife: Donna Bond. when we met in 2008, I had not painted in quite a few years. She saw a stack of work in a closet and said to me, “you can do this… and you are not doing this.” It was a wake-up call that I had a gift that I was not honoring. My wife was a hospitality corporate marketing executive with the Ritz Carlton at the time, but was ready for something new. She has since gone back to school for her master’s degree and is now is a life coach and transformational consultant (donnabond.com). Without either of us realizing it, I believe I became her first client. As I transitioned from my graphics business to painting full-time, she also gave me the breathing room and financial cushion to do so. So that allowed me the space to further refine my art as I was bringing it out into the world in a larger way. She also inspires – and challenges – me daily to be a better human being. When people say ‘I would not be who and where I am without this person’, I now know what they mean.