Show Up On Time & Don’t Be a Dick: Finding Success as an Independent Artist | with Hakim Callwood

Hakim Callwood is a 26-year-old visual artist from Columbus, Ohio, with a passion for painting, animation, and teaching. Hakim’s long-term vision is creating self-sustaining, educational, and hands-on visual art workspaces — and that intersection of design, intentional living, and art is way up our alley here at Gravity.

His inspiration in art began with Marvel comics he received as hand-me-downs from his older brother. When he was young, he didn’t really register that the comics and video games he was interested in were considered art, and he had no idea you could make art for a living, but he always had that spark inside of him.

When Hakim was in art school his dad passed away and his whole world started falling apart. But through all of that, he surrounded himself with a strong group of people who he could lean on. It was this network of support, and his own tenacity, that allowed him to move through the pain and persevere.

Hakim shares how he came to be the successful artist he is today, how art as a business came naturally to him (once he realized it was a possibility), and how self-compassion and staying humble have gotten him this far in life.

What Brett asks:

  • [04:21] What was the family dynamic you grew up in?
  • [08:12] Where were those early creative sparks?
  • [10:21] Are there any ideas you can look back on that helped you get to where you are?
  • [12:45] What happened when your father passed away?
  • [16:44] How did you move past all these problems?
  • [24:20] How did you get into teaching?
  • [26:51] How did you get to understand the business of art?
  • [29:52] How much of your knowledge is intuitive or did you have teachers?
  • [37:05] What did it feel like discovering the art world?
  • [49:58] Are artists more judgmental or self-critical?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Have a good, strong support system. If you’re never going it alone, not only does that support help you but you also won’t quit on yourself — because that would only dishonor those who have put in work in your favor.
  • Have the tenacity to find solutions to your problems. Everything has a solution, and if you are passionate about something and persevere, you can find a way to make it work. You may need to compromise or balance, or get creative, but you can figure it out.