There are countless paths to becoming an artist, regardless of what any individual might suggest or recommend. To many, it may seem a futile pursuit, often not as glamorous as imagined and even more often, not as lucrative. But ask a handful of successful artists about their path, and you’ll hear surprising stories about “pre-art” careers that might make one revise any big predictions about a young person’s future. One timely example is the author of this month’s Travel Insider, Mike Shine, who had a highly successful career in advertising before becoming the freewheelin’ painter he is now. Or consider The Report’s Pat Perry, whose paintings have far outgrown their previous associations with his train-hopping, hitch-hiking lifestyle. 

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