We had the good fortune of connecting with Krystal Dyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Krystal, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I guess I have taken risks my whole career. I never thought about it that way but when you ask that question, and I think back, I have definitely taken risks to get to where I am today, and I still am. I took a risk of going to an art college out of state, right after losing my Mom, to be an animator, only because I wanted to do character design. I took a risk by accepting a job with Nickelodeon in NYC when I lived in Philly, and commuted by train daily. I took a risk in accepting a job after that, at Lockheed Martin, working on things I never knew an artist would work on, stuff I truly knew nothing about. I took a risk in accepting a job at Think Up Toy Design as a concept artist, animator, and voice over actor when I was not sure that was exactly what I wanted to do. But, my biggest risk was when I moved from NJ to CA for a job with Sony to do video game animation, with only 2 bags and a cat. A week after I arrived in CA, the video game I was hired to work on, flopped during testing and they had to let go of 300 animators. Since I did not technically start yet, it was easier to let me go. I could have easily packed up my 2 bags, grabbed my cat, and hopped back on a plane and returned to NJ but I didn’t. I stayed in CA, confused, terrified, unsure of everything. I took a risk and started painting live on stage with bands, to try and pay a few bills. I also took a job as a promotions girl for RT’s Longboard Grill in Pacific Beach, which turned into a serving position. From there I took a risk of juggling more than one job, and painting live, I worked at the bar and I started teaching art, all while still painting live for bands. Moving across the country, to follow my dream, was one of the biggest risks I ever took, but staying after a job fell through was an even bigger risk. Almost 12 years later, I have taken risk after risk, job after job, just to make sure I was happy. I am currently a self employed artist, running my own business and continuing to take risks to further my career, my happiness and my future. If you don’t take risks, you’ll spend your life wondering “what if”. When you take a risk, you could succeed or you could fail, its scary, sure; but both are important situations in life to help you grow.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I paint live with bands, I set up an easel and canvas/wood on stage and move around and paint to the music. I have a group of friends that do this as well and in California, live art is becoming more of a common experience at concerts. What sets me apart from other live artists, I think, is the fact that I don’t usually plan out my paintings. I will say that 98% of the time, I have no idea what I am about to paint. I paint in the moment, to the music, and I paint start to finish with the music. When the band starts, I start, when the band stops, I stop, sign my name and I do not touch the painting up. My art has become recognizable and desired in custom order form. 6 years ago, I received a custom order for a hand painted hat and it quickly spun into one of my most sought out products. I really enjoy hand painting hats. I have figured out a way to make them water resistant and UV Fade resistant which makes them more desirable too, especially living in San Diego with customers that wear them while stand up paddle boarding, hiking, even playing drums where the wearer sweats a lot and needs to put them in the washing machine! Me getting to where I am today has not been an easy road but I also don’t consider it a rough road. For example, the term “starving artist”, I have never called myself that and I never will because I have never been “starving”. I create with passion, I create because if I don’t, I don’t feel right. I have always been an artist, the toughest thing for me is to stay focused on one art project at a time. While creating, I have 30 other ideas in my head that I want to make happen. I am still learning and growing as an artist. I am constantly networking, observing, and evolving. A lesson I learned along the way is it’s ok to admit that you are overwhelmed. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to speak up. It’s ok to admit you need a break to regroup and recharge. I had to tell myself, this is YOUR ART, you are working for YOURSELF now, you are making YOUR dream a reality, not someone elses. You are your own boss. Speak up and tell yourself this is part of the process. Good or bad… It’s OK. It will only help you grow and get you closer to your overall goal. Something I want the world to know about myself, my brand, my story is… I create with love, because I love what I do. That truly describes me, my art, my life.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would absolutely take my best friend to Crushed in PB for brunch, sight seeing at the Childrens Pool to see the sea lions, walk Sunset Cliffs, walk Balboa Park, check out San Diego Zoo, dinner at Cannonball at sunset, catch a concert at The Holding Company with some OG Peanut Butter Shots, to name a few things. We would also get ice cream at Mr. Frosties, chill on the beach, more live music at Winstons, 710 Beach Club, Open Mic at PB Cantina, maybe go stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, surfing. My best friend would also need some late night mexican food, fish tacos at Shore Club, a bonfire by the bay with friends, and to experience the gaslamp district. There is so much to do in San Diego, I am sure I am missing some things.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents, Rose and Bob Dyer deserve the biggest shout out of all. They supported and encouraged me through out my entire life until they each passed away. When I was young, they put me into private art classes with a local artist, Rebecca Cook. She helped teach me a wide range of mediums and skills to help shape me into the artist I am today, she deserves a shout out as well because I would have never learned what she taught me, from my grade school and high school. I also need to give a shout out to my boyfriend, Michael Garland. It’s because of him that I took the risk to leave my normal paycheck job, and attempt to be an independent artist and run my own business. He looked at my finances, my bills, and said “you have enough money to go 1 year without making a dime, why not try it, and if in a year, it isn’t working, you can find a job… but you have to try, if running your own business is what you want to do.” I also need to give a shout out to my incredible friends who have helped me set up and break down large art shows over the years. It speaks volumes when people believe in your journey and are willing to give some of their time to help you. There are many friends to list but if you’re reading this and you have ever helped me at a show, thank you.

Website: KrystalDyer.com
Instagram: @Krystal_Dyer_The_Artist
Facebook: Facebook.com/krystaldyertheartist
Other: KrystalDyer.etsy.com

Image Credits
Sun Drenched Vibes

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.