We had the good fortune of connecting with Joseph Panico and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joseph, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
A lot of people look forward to retirement so they can travel and do the things they have always wanted to do. I watched so many of my family members working, waiting for retirement only to find at the end they were tired and, in some cases, old age stopping them from doing the things they wanted to do. In my case I have always done what interests me so retirement is out of the question. If you do what you love to do it is not work. The end goal concerning metal art would be to open a storefront gallery where I could display my sculptures allowing me the opportunity to meet interesting people. I would also like to start a school where we could teach the trade, not blacksmithing or fabrication, we would teach the process of metal art and metal sculpting. Teaching others to be creative in a school-like setting would be a lot of fun for me especially when they start creating their own sculptures.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My metal art is mostly made from stainless steel which is a lot harder to work with than mild steel. The part that excites me the most is the creative design process. The physical process of making the sculpture is rewarding as well but figuring out how to make the shapes I want is what I enjoy the most. Keeping me busy these days are custom metal art projects which I post on my website. One of my latest projects was a hand forged arch way. All fire and hammer old school type work.
Arriving at this point in time was not easy, especially since I didn’t know I wanted to do metal art full time. Now that I am here, I know this is where I belong. I have been a metal worker since high school always focused on time, production and money. When I began metal art my focus shifted to detail not speed and production. Most artists create first then look for customers. Since I was already busy doing stainless steel fabrication, I focused on finding customers first then creating my metal art sculptures. There were a lot of moments where I would say to myself, what did I get myself into, on those days I would stop working, go online to see what other metal artists have done. Opening your mind to different ways of doing things is key to success. I have learned the creative process takes time and you may not have all the answers on how to do something but will when you get there. Sure you may need to start over on projects but that is part of the process.
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?
When my friends visit, we go to Miami’s art district, South Beach, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach which are all close to me. Eating out is typically on the beach side where we can enjoy the view.
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 shoutout goes to my Wife and Children who have been with me every part of this journey. I would also like to take a moment to thank my loyal customers who support my art work. I read a lot of motivational books so it would be hard not to mention that everyone should stay positive by reading and listening to positive affirmations daily. Positive affirmations reduce the noise and doubt allowing me to move forward on projects I have never done before.