The Back Story
Joshua Oliveira, first born son of two Portuguese immigrants who left their homeland for the shores of the American Dream in their teen years. The New Bedford public school system was the only formal art training Joshua received along with observing Bob Ross improvise landscapes on TV. Graffiti inspired early art as it was the Museum one never left from, lacing the culture of America’s inner cities. Not growing up with much, he was forced to use his imagination to manufacture endless childhood entertainment.
Intrigued by the unexplainable peace exuding from the local Franciscan Monks, Joshua left everything behind and entered the monastery at the age of 18. Although having nothing and enjoying the happiest three years of his life, an unexplained illness forced him to leave and search for a new path.
Having been told by the University he wouldn’t make money selling art, Joshua studied Graphic Design instead, which later has shown to be the compositional hallmark of his works to come. After a year of painting on canvas, Joshua came out of the artistic closet in 2006 with his invitation to create art live with his cousin’s band, Cadbury Diesel. After selling most of his work that weekend, Joshua embarked on turning a seemingly impossible childhood dream into a full time reality.
Since he has performed on the Holland America Cruise Line from NY to Bermuda, and collaborated with multi-Grammy Award winning musicians, with a historical 400+ shows through the New England and South Florida nightlife scene.
The Live Artist
The orientation of the canvas, to style and color schemes are all chosen on the spot without much regard for consequences. The course the art will take is just as much of an unfolding to the artist as the crowd observing him.
While Joshua is working more and more in oils these days, acrylic remains his medium of choice for live art shows.
Q & A
What is your thought process when creating a live art piece?
I am actually not thinking much at all, I find it limits my creativity if not total kills it all together. I work on being loose and free which allows the imagination to flow freely.
What is the largest audience you have painted in front of?
10,000 plus at the Levitate Music Festival.
What kind of response do you get from your art?
That it is disgusting, sick, that I’m on LSD or my favorite was “Your completely Out of Your Mind” — All compliments.
If the conscious mind has nothing in the subconscious to compare it too, we often shut it down and overlook what we are seeing. In other words, many run from art they cannot understand, while I enjoy running toward what is yet to be understood.
What advice can you give to inspiring artist that wants to turn their passion into profit?
Trying to compete with other artists will stop you in your tracks. Focus that energy into “creating” the life you want not competing for what someone else has. The old gallery system is dead, if you are still following it chances are you will be poor.
- Continually perfect your art skill – Good art rises to the top and is more easily remembered.
- Become A Master Marketer – This is how untalented artists have become millionaires and why many skilled artists remain poor. Learning how to market yourself is the most valuable skill any artist can learn. The other option is to hand over half of your profits to someone else who knows how to market. Either way, marketing is a vital and continuous component to getting paid for doing what you love. It is the skill that separates the Professional Artist from the Hobby Artist in my opinion.
- Utilize Multiple Avenues of Art Income – Find as many different ways as you can to monetize your art, choosing avenues consistent with your brand.
What made you move to Fort Lauderdale?
Me and my business partner were looking to open a gallery lounge. We searched New York, Landsdown St in Boston, Blue back square in Connecticut. The most favorable was Fort Lauderdale. I packed Sean”s suv with everything I owned and drove down with no where to stay. Living out of a hotel until things fell into place.
3414 N Ocean Blvd. A B, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308