We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Almeida and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
If I could boil it all down into one phrase: stop waiting for your work to be perfect to share it. When I first started to share my artwork, it was to help myself. Therapy through art. Then the pressure of social media and likes had me overthinking every piece I made, to the point where I stopped sharing anything at all for 3 years. I wanted every post to be the best it could be to gain that validation from my audience. It’s impossible to please everyone. Your art could very well look amazing to one person and not do anything special for another. As creatives, we will always find some sort of flaw or imperfection. The viewer will never notice. Now that I’ve stopped waiting to share my work, I’ve found more of my own voice in each piece, I’ve been able to make connections with the people who like my work, and I’ve been able to grow as an artist. If I would’ve continued to wait for the perfect time, I would have never made my first sale. Accept your imperfections, because 80% done is better than 0% done.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a motivation illustrator that focuses on passion, positivity, and peaches! What I love to talk about are the everyday emotions, the vulnerability, and the doubt that every creative (aka everyone) experiences regularly. Talking about the commonality we all share helps us better understand why it happens and how best to work through it without losing ourselves. That’s what Dude, Be Awesome is all about: a place to grow as a creative and follow your passion. I started Dude, Be Awesome when I was at a low point in my life: bad break up, parents getting divorced, and little direction in my life. My goal was to create something daily that would be motivational for myself, words of encouragement or advice. I started to post on Instagram and a lot of friends and strangers alike started to find relevance in the pieces I was posting and the captions I was writing. I gained a lot of traction, started to make connections locally, and eventually started to take on work to paint murals, chalkboards, signage, logos, etc. Eventually, I became disenfranchised with the whole concept of posting daily. I wasn’t making time for myself to create daily, I was more focused on the next job instead of continuing my journey. This is about where I started to lose sight of myself and lost the connection between myself and my creativity. I stopped posting in 2016, and I didn’t make a new piece of art until 2019. My biggest challenge has always been myself. I continually get in my own way and stop myself, either from fear or from doubt. Imagine being so doubtful of yourself that anything you make just hide? That’s where I was those 3 years, hiding myself and my art. We all fear judgement and criticism, and it’s sad to think that so many amazing creatives could literally be hiding among us due to that fear. Those 3 years it felt like I had totally forgotten who I was. I felt so freaking alone and isolated, like I was the only one going through this. I was so wrong and I never realized that until I met Scotty. He helped coach me out of my creative funk. When I started to create for myself again, I began to remember my purpose. Now I wake up at 5 AM everyday fucking hyped to write, work on my art, and connect with other like-minded creative people. I think what was missing was that connection and that community. We really are nothing without our support system. We all have a purpose and we should make it our life’s goal to follow that purpose or spend our life searching for it. That’s what I advocate in all of my work and on my livestream show on Twitch. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself, pursue your passion, or change your trajectory.
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?
In all honesty, I’m much more of a home body and I don’t go out often. That being said, I would do my best to take them to all of the highlights, especially all the amazing food options. Start the morning off with some Pinecrest Bakery breakfast. Then during the day we could go to the Frost Science Museum to see the exhibits, then cross over to the PAMM. We would definitely would need to hit up some of the local breweries through out the week: Concrete Beach, Lincoln’s Beard, and MIA Bruhaus. KUSH, LOKAL, or The Spillover are definitely some of the best food spots we’d go to over the week. Then there’s Caja Caliente *chef’s kiss*. My family is into disc golf, so I would have to take them to Kendall Indian Hammocks park for a game. Dinner options would be Ariete, Peacock Garden Cafe, and Lucia’s Pizzeria. Night-life stuff would probably be somewhere in Wynwood like Spanglish or The Sylvester.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many amazing friends and family I can name, which makes this extremely difficult to keep short. First, I want to shout out my coach and mentor Scotty Russell of the Perspective Collective podcast. I was a student in his 3 month coaching program almost 2 years ago now. Everything I’ve learned there, has helped me grow as an artist and business owner. From there I met my Creative After Party crew. We formed a group/mastermind after Scotty’s program and have continued to support each other since. I owe so much of my continued growth to them and the friendships we’ve built through each of our own creative endeavors. There’s my Peach Gang: the group of friends I’ve made who have followed my art since the beginning and who watch my livestream show every Tuesday and Thursday. We’ve created an amazing community and we continue to grow with each member and they support me to continue making awesome art. My family: everyone has supported my creativity and exploration of different avenues to this very day. They’ve always understood I was creative and they provided me with the safe space to grow and nurture my drive. They cheer me on and support me anyway they can. Finally, my wife Lexy. She’s been supporting me everyday. Every early morning, every event, every livestream; she’s there watching, helping, or working alongside me to help me grow my dream.