I have the pleasure of introducing my first guest blogger. He’s a close friend of mine who at one time was one of my martial arts instructors. Not only is he a terrific martial artist, but he’s a fantastic artist whose work has become more widely known. A theme of SuccessWize is overcoming obstacles. Every successful person has overcome obstacles in life to get where they are, so read on to learn more about Tim’s journey, his obstacles and his heartfelt advice for you.
My name is Tim Dobert; I am an artist. I have been painting since 1994. I started painting as a stress reliever from my very hectic and stressful full-time job as a Law Enforcement Officer.
For many years painting was just a hobby for me. Something I enjoyed doing. During those many years in Law Enforcement, I had to find ways to cope with the stress of the job. Let me say it was not an easy thing to do. My sources of relief were the martial arts and painting.
I would like to share my story and the journey I took with both of these endeavors.
My adventure into the martial arts began at the age of ten. I walked into a karate school way back then and was instantly hooked. I loved it all, the uniform, the discipline, the respect the black belts got, it was awesome…..it was everything I didn’t have. I was poor, lived in the projects, and came from a very dysfunctional family. So the martial arts became my new family. I loved my teachers and the traditions. I wanted everything I could get. I studied and practiced constantly. One day I saw a magazine at a newsstand called Warriors. In this magazine, I found an article about the Legendary Ninja. “What!”, you say, “The ninja are real? No way.” So I started searching for information about ninja. Little did I know then that this quest would lead me through the rest of my life, through numerous injuries and betrayals, all the way to Japan and back. But I wanted this amazing art, I wanted to get the real thing from the real masters in Japan. And so… off I went to Japan.
But what is the point of this other than an interesting story? Well, most people just see the end result. Oh wow, that guy is good, how does he do that? I get the same thing as an artist. People see my work and say, “That’s amazing!”, or “I could never paint like that, I can’t even draw a stick figure.” But this kind of thinking is my point; you can’t let thinking like that get in your way. I suffered through both processes of being a martial artist and a painter. I had teachers that would lie to me and deceive me, I had injuries…I lost track of how many injuries. The pain I went through left me, at times, barely able to walk from the beatings I took. The same applies to my artwork. I painted for years with never having a show, with galleries rejecting me, losing competitions over and over. Not selling any of my works to the point I started to think maybe I’m just no good. Maybe my work really does suck and I should quit. It was not all fun and glamor. I was so stressed from my job that I suffered a nervous breakdown, I wanted nothing in life…just to die. Yes, I was that far gone at one point. But you then have a choice, you can give in to the despair, or you can fight and choose to live. So I chose to live and to fight, and so I did.
I retired from my stressful Law Enforcement job and started painting full time. I practice my craft constantly. Slowly over time, it has begun to pay off. I have done numerous shows now, been in several galleries, and sold over 30 paintings to date. I became a Buddhist, still practice martial arts, and paint…a lot. I still have my moments where I start to get down on myself, but these moments are the points in life where you prove yourself. You push through them and learn from each one. Each time I push through one of these moments I feel myself get stronger. I feel life has a purpose for me. I take my passion for my work and try to put it into each painting I create. I try to share that passion with others through my art. Who knows, maybe one of my paintings will inspire someone else to paint or get through one of their own bad times.
The point is, don’t just look at someone who is successful and think to yourself, “Oh they had it easy “, or say, “I could never do that.” Because you never know what they have gone through to get where they are and how they struggled to get there. Never sell yourself short and give up before you put every ounce of your heart and soul into what you have set out to accomplish. No matter how hard your struggle is, there is always a way to make it better. It may not be easy, and it may take you years, but if you never give up, you will eventually make it.
Please check out my work at www.dobertscanvas.org
Watch me paint: