We had the good fortune of connecting with David Kammerzell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I haven’t thought much about the end of my career as I hope to be painting as long as I can still hold a paint brush. Usually I’m thinking about 4-5 paintings out but not really anything beyond that. I want to get my current piece done and then move on to the next one. Hopefully, my paintings will have evolved and be more accomplished along the way. I don’t put much thought into how good my work is- I’ll leave that up to someone else. But I would take pride in having my work be in a permanent museum collection.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Ha! The path to my current professional place was definitely not a short one or easy for that matter. I have kinda gone full circle to get to where I am today. Back in my college days I was studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on painting. But I had, what you could say was a bad attitude. Headstrong and full of self entitlement, you couldn’t tell me anything, much less teach me anything. So after a couple of rough years I left college to make my own way. Doing what many young people do, I began working in restaurants. I bartended for about 10 years and in my off time I would create art. I wasn’t creating anything to be shown publicly, it was just for me. Creating art was a place of comfort and solace. It was personal and private. It also gave me some self esteem that was otherwise sorely lacking in my life. During that time I would run into some commercial art or graphic design jobs here and there, which I enjoyed doing. Seeing that commercial art was possibly a viable career path, I began seeking out more jobs. I created illustrations and did more design work for a few years, but the up and down income was very uncomfortable for me. I wanted a steady income, a steady job. I then became interested in television graphics, a relatively new thing at the time. I got a job at Channel 4 in Denver for a few years and then got hired at Starz, a premium cable channel. I worked at Starz for 20 years first as a video designer and after several promotions, I became the head of the entire design department. Meanwhile, I was still painting and creating art at home in my spare time. While the pay and benefits at Starz were fabulous, I started wondering how I could paint more. Would it be possible to quit there and paint full time? It was a question I thought about often but the pay and benefits would always keep me there. Then one day I was called into a meeting where I was told my position was being eliminated! After the initial shock wore off, which was considerable, I decided that this was my opportunity to try and paint professionally. I viewed the lay off as the universe telling me it was time to go paint. That was in 2013 and I’ve been painting professionally ever since.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if that were to happen right now we would probably be resigned to drinking a couple of beers over a zoom call. But assuming that Covid was no longer a thing and my friend was new to Denver, we would definitely have to go to a Rockies night game. You don’t even have to like baseball to have a great time there. Its one of the most beautiful places in Denver. Other places to visit would be a Red Rocks concert, Union Station, the Oxford Hotel, Bonnie Brae ice cream, and if he would allow it, a visit to Ron Hicks’ studio.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s been many collectors who have purchased my work over the years, and to them I am very grateful and humbled. Without their support I probably would not be able to keep painting at my current pace. But I would also like to thank my wife for the love and support she has shown me in pursuing an art career. Taking the leap to become a professional artist is a scary one. You’re never really sure how its going to work out. But my wife has always been very supportive right from the start and I am very grateful and thankful for her support.
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