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Life & Work with Cristian Fisk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristian Fisk.

Hi Cristian, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
For the first time in my life, I’m doing what I was born to do. There is a purpose for everyone, for some, it can only be found in the places that seem the most uncertain and terrifying. I remember having my first real breakdown at my high school graduation. This was because the reality of life set in and I became aware that most of life is doing something that is either considered work or a contribution to society. For me, education was not something I had taken seriously and because of my lack of effort, I thought I was bad at academics as a whole. For the next year as my classmates went off to college or begin their lives, I stayed at my nine to five and fell into bad habits. The environment I was creating for myself could only lead to detrimental destruction. My mother intervened and for this, I will forever be grateful. She suggested that I join the military, this helped me clear my mind and set myself on a better path. My demons followed me unfortunately and began to drink to cope with my mental conditions. It got so bad that I ended up in rehab, my department saw the danger of my drinking habits and again I was blessed to be set on a better path. While in rehab I was introduced to the world of addiction therapy psychology. This intrigued me when I got out of the military I decided to pursue a degree in clinical psychology. The fear of entering an educational environment gripped me, the motivation of doing something that could one day be used to help others overcame this fear and enrolled in a community college.

During this time, I had been drawing and doing photography as a sort of self-therapy, I saw this as a hobby and something I did for myself. I give all praise to God, the universe, a higher power, whatever one calls it for being blessed with natural talent. This is important because while I was grinding along the academic track, my love for art continued to grow. Once I finished my AA I transferred to a four-year college, the U of M at the Rochester campus. I was for the first time enjoying education. My passion for art still grew and I loved it so much that I, with the help of some classmates started an art club on campus. Now, this is when I take the biggest risk of my life.

During my winter break, all I did was paint, and when I got back for my second semester, something made me take a leap of faith. I was sitting down taking notes, and the spirit of creativity plagued me. Unable to focus as the thoughts of pursuing one calling grew louder and louder until I broke. My mind was restless, so I took the advice I had been given, I pleaded for mental clarity. When it was given I meditated and ask the question, “what is my purpose”? The answer came and it gave and with it, the feeling of standing over a canyon of darkness, below is the choice made in faith. I was terrified. Never before had I worked so hard to be in the place I was at, the choice was to give it all up and pursue the life of an artist. As I leaped a sense of tranquility set in. There is no structure, there is no guarantee of success and there is no path to walk over, I am making my own as I go. Today I wake up every day doing what I love and that is the only success I will ever need. The people and decisions I was inspired to make have gotten me to where I am, so now I plan to give back to the community with my art and creativity.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
A smooth road is a road of comfort, and you can not grow in comfort. I could have chosen to stay on the smooth road, instead, I choose to go off-road and make my own. I have struggled with substance abuse, mental health problems, and feeling of not belonging to a particular group. When I tried to fit into a certain social mold I found that I had to lose or change myself to do so, and this was not worth it. The feelings that manifest internally are for me unbearable and only when I decided to be myself that I have felt at peace. The hardest decision one has to make is in my opinion what they will do for the rest of their lives until retirement. What is amazing is that with my decision to pursue my passion I don’t see a need to ever retire, I will create until my last breath.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am an artist, I create. Right now I specialize in Oil painting, digital art, Photography, and Mixed media. I am known for my use of color, and abstract approach. What I most proud of is my ability to do the things that scare me the most. A year ago I was hesitant to try my hand at Oil Painting, today it is one of my strong suits. What sets me apart from others is my no-rules attitude to art. If there is something that someone thinks should be created, it must be. I love to break out of my comfort and push the boundaries of creativity. There is an indescribable joy that I get from seeing those who are scared to do anything creative for fear of not having it be “good” let loose and express themselves with art. So I’m set apart by my ability to conjure creativity out of others and push the boundaries of what it means to create.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Not being afraid to ask and put yourself out there has been the best and most difficult action to take. There is a fear of being judged and rejected that comes with this. If you begin to speak what you want out of life, life will begin to provide. Telling people that what I do is art was weird and honestly awkward at first. It has opened many doors and allowed for amazing connections. Be proud of your talents and gifts in a way that is humble. No one has gotten anything alone, so give thanks and praise to those who make you, and be thankful for the talents that you have as they are also gifts.

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