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Meet Rob Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Rey.

Rob, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Getting started as an artist takes a lot of persistence. Not only have I kept painting when success was nowhere in sight, but I’ve also turned down a lot of opportunities in order to focus on painting about what I find most inspiring: Science. It’s easy to take for granted how much we humans have learned about ourselves and this vast universe since the dawn of the scientific revolution.

Insights like Carl Sagan’s, “We are made of stardust,” are not only inspiring but also based in real astrophysics. Great insights like this help us feel connected to the stars and to each other, but you might only hear them if you’re watching a science documentary. I think ideas like these should be part of our everyday lives. My goal is to make art that helps people to feel as inspired as I do by science; to help make science a meaningful part of our lives.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s not easy to pay the bills as an artist. For most of a decade after college, I painted during my time off while working a day job at an art framing shop. Slowly, my art began to support me more and more, and I now paint full time.

Inspiring aspects of science are difficult to represent visually, and space scenes don’t fit neatly into any existing art market niches. I’m doing something different, so finding and connecting with people who share my passion has been an ongoing challenge, but my audience is continually growing.

Tell us more about your art.
On one hand, I’m a fine artist and signature member of the Oil Painters of America, painting art for sale in galleries, such as Abend Gallery in downtown Denver. On the other hand, I’ve also created illustrations for Dungeons & Dragons, book covers, magazines, card games, even a children’s book.

What I’m most known for is my passion, which is my fine art series celebrating science. I think art is at its best when it’s meaningful, and provides a visual reminder of something important to the human experience. That’s why I paint about the vastness and complexity of the universe, how we’re all made of the same stardust, and the humbling experience of understanding our tiny place in it all. Ideas that bring out our best, most compassionate selves and remind us not to get lost in the frivolities of life.

I create textural original paintings where the brush strokes have a strong dimensional presence. However, I understand not everyone has the budget for original works of art, so to make my work more accessible I sell both prints and original paintings through my website.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Foremost, success is hearing from my followers how meaningful they feel my art is to them. Another important form of success is making a living from my art so that I can keep creating. I feel very fortunate to have managed this for many years now. These two things are the most important markers of success to me.

Additionally, I’ve collected many national awards in fine art and illustration competitions, including Best of Show in the Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society’s annual “Best of America” Exhibit, Gold in the annual illustration publication “Spectrum”, Best of Show in the Boldbrush, Richeson 75, and DailyPaintworks competitions, and more from the Art Renewal Center, Oil Painters of America, and Portrait Society of America.

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Rob Rey

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