Sculptor Bruce Gray
Not all artists get to see their work on TV. Bruce Gray does. He's a sculptor in Los Angeles who's well known for his kinetic art (like his rolling ball sculptures), his funky furniture and his magnetic sculptures. He's also made tons of super-sized objects like giant cheese wedges, insects, cats and high heel shoes made from aluminum and steel. Bruce's work is in over 1,000 private and corporate art collections across the world and is in hundreds of movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos,
Bruce always liked to draw, paint and build things but he didn't take any art classes. He did however, build an electric guitar in wood shop. When he found out he had dyslexia at the end of 2001, he said it explained a lot of the problems he had as a child. Not that it slowed him down, Bruce says dyslexia is an advantage for anyone working in three dimensions.
When he finally decided to apply to art school, he applied to the University of Massachusetts, but his portfolio was rejected. A few months later, they told him if he worked hard, he would be permitted to attend the University. He majored in Design and got a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Design after four years.
The Bad News
Bruce wasn't discovered overnight. He worked hard and struggled. One of the most difficult things about being a sculptor is getting the money for tools. It's also hard to get work exhibited at an art gallery. "There really is no way to get into museums and important art collections without a serious track record of art gallery exhibits under your belt," says Bruce. He says you need to have a really impressive portfolio before you approach a gallery.
Now For the Good News
Sculptors don't make a set amount of money. Bruce makes about $50,000 to $60,000 a year. "It is still common to go a month or two with no income at all, so I have to be careful about budgeting my income for the slow times," explains Bruce. "Artists tend to make most of their money as they get older and also nobody tells you when to retire."
If becoming a sculptor is what you want to do, Bruce has some advice. First, you need to decide what you want to accomplish with your art. Are you doing it for creative reasons or because you want to make a living from it? Because it's seriously difficult to make a living as a sculptor, Bruce suggests finding a second source of income. In other words, don't give up your day job. You'll need it so you can afford to eat. You should also be willing to relocate to a city that is a major center of art, like Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, etc. "Do what you feel passion for," says Bruce but also accept criticism or suggestions as one person's opinion. "The key is passion! It shows in your work."
To check out Bruce's site, pictures of his work and for lots more information, click here.