We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, how do you define success?
I chose this question because when someone asks me if I am a successful artist and I say yes, they ask if I’m rich and I have to say no. I don’t define my success in dollars, I define it though happiness. After a 22-year financially successful career in television production ended on a happy note, it took me almost 10 years to figure out what to do next. Art was something I loved as a kid, and the opportunity to get back into it was worth the “try”. I had no plan B because I knew this was something I wanted to do and I wanted to succeed. I didn’t fail, because that thought never crossed my mind. Living a positive life is how I maintain my success and it also helps me achieve my goals as an art teacher and as an artist. I have numerous quotes around my studio about life, success and positivity. • To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 • “….I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be an instrument of inspiration…” – Haim Ginott, • Teaching Might be the greatest of the arts for it inspires the human mind and spirit On another note, making more money would absolutely make me more successful, but money can’t buy happiness – but it can buy a lot of art supplies = happiness.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art consists of realistic portraits and landscapes in acrylic. I’m a stickler for details and probably my own worst critic, but it has made me a better artist. A complete painting to me is one that makes me step back, smile and feel proud. I find myself teaching the same way, pushing my students to do their best (without pushing them away) until they smile and feel proud of their art. I painted as a teenager and I loved art, but nothing came of it until I turned 50. I established my business, Harris Art Studio in 2012 after attending a wine and paint party. What started as a small creative corner in my house is now a 1600 square foot storefront where I teach, paint and sell my artwork. Technology, accounting and the legal side of running a business was my challenge but I’m doing pretty good. As far as being an artist, I continue to challenge myself and try new techniques on a regular basis, so I continue to become a better artist. I currently provide classes for children and adults, host art parties, camps, workshops and special events in the community. I find self-discovery is the key to making people happy. Great lines I hear from my students sound like this… “Wow! Look what I made” “hey I’m getting better” “I’m so proud of myself”. I think what makes me different from other art studios are small classes which allow one-on-one and making sure everyone creates something different, so there is no comparing. Covid was and is devastating, I continue to grow my business with the support of friends and the business community, I feel successful – not rich, but successful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first stop is the beach – Hollywood Beach at sunrise, breakfast on the Broadwalk to support local businesses. We would hang out at my studio creating something special to take home. I love to entertain at home, so I would cook alot, but if we were to go out to eat, breakfast at First Watch or TooJays Deli in Dania. Dinner and drinks would be the Tipsy Boar in downtown Hollywood, the rooftop at Circ Hotel in downtown Hollywood with the great views and the Taco Spot on Hollywood Beach for great food and drinks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout would go to my daughter who is a performing artist in her own right. She was and is my reason for becoming an artist. She was 8 years old when I decided to go on this venture and she was just as excited and enthusiastic as I was. Encouraging me to go for it, offering to help me along the way while allowing me to stay mom. And speaking of mom, my mother always told me there was nothing I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it. She also raised me to be kind and stay positive.