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June 22, 2022

Combat Engineer to Grunt Style Artist with Army Veteran Gerardo "Ghost" Cazares

Combat Engineer to Grunt Style Artist with Army Veteran Gerardo "Ghost" Cazares

Fall in…It’s time for formation!

Today we’re joined with a first generation Veteran warrior who served 2 deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army combat engineer and my experiences downrange, the engineers were always busy taking care of the IEDs and anything dangerous outside the wire.

I’m very fortunate to have Gerardo “Ghost” Cazarez. Unlike many who just dream about their passions and never make a move, Gerardo decided put paint to canvas and made it happen and today we’re going to get to know him and learn about his career transition from the military to the civilian world to becoming an up and coming artist.

Email Ghost: ghostcustomart@gmail.com 

Ghost's IG: https://www.instagram.com/ghost_custom_art/

Ghost's FB: https://www.facebook.com/ghostcustomart

Ghost's YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJAjgjKN97MEaQAkKwu09HQ/videos

Transcript

KP:

This episode is powered by act now education, go to www dot ATT now education.com For free comprehensive educational resources and opportunities for active duty veterans, military spouses, and children.

Gerardo "Ghost" Cazares:

Those critics out there that are judging you that are talking all this shit, they're not on your path. They're, they're talking all this crap because they're sitting comfortable content in their lives, it's easy for them to look at you and judge something that you're trying to do and you're trying to get better you're trying to improve it and it's impossible for them, they'll never be able to do it. They're never there, they're always going to be too scared to take that leap like you are.

KP:

Fall in it's time for formation. Today, we're joined with a first generation veteran warrior who served two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. As an Army combat engineer. And from my experiences downrange, the engineers were always busy taking care of the IEDs and anything dangerous outside the wire. I'm very fortunate to be joined by an artist goes by the name ghost, unlike many others out there who dreamed about their passions and never made that move towards their passions or their goals. Those decided to put paint to Canvas and made it happen. And today we're going to get to know him and learn about his career transition from the military to the civilian world, and how he became an upcoming artist. Ghost. Thank you for joining us on the morning formation podcast today.

Unknown:

Thank you for having me, brother. Thank you so much. As I always

KP:

say happy to be here. As I always say the honor is always on this end of the microphone, man. Thank you so much. I know you're extremely busy. And we'll just get right into it, man. And first question I want to ask you is just to kind of reminisce and go back down memory lane. Can you tell me? I know you spent eight years total in the army. And with the two deployments, can you tell me a time your most memorable time in the military? It can be a funny story. It could be a story about anything that just sticks out in your mind.

Unknown:

My most memorable time in the military. Wow, in uniform. I mean, there's a shitload of them. I mean, I could go through an entire I could talk about that all day is a lot of good times out there but and most memorable, you mean like good or bad, right?

KP:

Good or bad? Anything you want to share?

Unknown:

Okay. Okay, the thing that sticks out in my mind the most I think number one out of all the good times and all the all the bad times and out of the long days that I've had. The one thing that really sticks out to me when I go down memory lane, like you said is we were doing. We were downrange, we were in Iraq, and we had just our unit, our brother unit had just taken some casualties. They lost three guys in an IED blast, and the entire fog. Obviously, camo blackout, internet goes down. It's silent throughout the fog. And we know something's up. And so that night, our squadron commander said, we're going to salute these gentlemen on their way out. And so the entire squadron above 6000 Dudes went out to the helipad to the tarmac right where the Blackhawks were. And it was night it was about midnight. It was we were out there for an hour I were standing out there for hours and hours and hours waiting for the for the caskets to come through the tarmac and on to the helicopters. So we're out there waiting, waiting and smoking. Right, you know, like over there. Finally, it's about midnight, and we get into a giant formation. And the caskets are coming out of the coming out of the that improvised AMOLED that in that ambulance Humvee. Right? Yeah, they're coming out of it. And I remember, we are called to attention by or, you know, Squadron attention, you know, present arms right, middle of the night. And it had been so loud with all of us talking and laughing and joking, you know, for hours and hours and hours. And at that moment, when they were loading the caskets, you know, and they were passing by the entire formation, they were passing through the center of the entire formation like this, draped in the flag. And us with our arms up, you know, presenting arms. I remember how silent everything was. It was a silent tarmac. It was filled with soldiers filled with soldiers in a giant formation presenting arms to these fallen brothers being loaded into a helicopter and the I will never forget that silence. I'll never forget how quiet that was. And it lasted for we had our we had our hands up for a good while for good had half hour to where they were loading those caskets into those Blackhawks took us a while and we did not drop. Nobody dropped anything for about a good half hour. And remember, you know, finally Order arms were dropped. And, you know, that's when they that's when they started turning the choppers on and they started spinning up. And we were, we were still at attention, we were still at attention all the way until the choppers took off. So that was another like, half hour 45 minutes. And I'll always remember that

KP:

that's something that a lot of people don't experience, man. Yeah, I mean, I was talking about that yesterday to someone, you know, every time I was a platoon leader for transportation platoon, and, and the reality of it, all of it all is that, you know, we experienced things like what you just talked about, and the idea of, you know, not knowing what was going to happen once you left the wire, and having that that letter inside your inside your Kevlar was a real thing. And it's something that most people don't have to do, man. And I was talking to someone about that yesterday. That that that was that was our reality during that time. And I appreciate you sharing that that circumstance that you had, man because a lot of us had to had to deal with some type of memorial. We had a lot of losses when I was in Iraq in 2004. So yeah, that's that's crazy man. Um, you know, those types of experiences that you have, you know, you carry with you when you transition into the civilian world and you take with you can't ever wipe them clean of your memory. And you're always going to have that in the back your mind and have that experience as well. You know, at what point ghost? Did you decide to become an artist? Where does your inspiration come from? And can you tell us like where it all started? Did it start when you were in the military? Or was it before that?

Unknown:

I've been drawing all my life. Like I said, I was talking about I was talking about it a little while ago with you. And since childhood since I can remember I was always coloring, doing crayons, it evolved to colored pencils, then it evolved into ink, sketchbooks, charcoal, graph, graphite pencil, all throughout my adolescence. And then I joined the Army. And I just kept on doing it in the army. I kept drawing while I was while I was in the military too. And it was just a hobby. It wasn't anything I ever took seriously at all. I had my sketchbook with me everywhere I went deployments the field. Everywhere I had the I was always doodling because it's to pass the time, right? It was it was a good boredom killer. And it was the past of time you get a lot of downtime in the field, you get a lot of downtime on deployments to you know, in between missions, you'll get some downtime. It's just like, okay, cool. I'm just gonna doodle real quick. So it was always a boredom killer. It was never anything serious. Throughout my entire life. It started becoming very serious. And I started paying a lot more attention to it after I left the army after I ETS in after I got back from active duty in 2014. After my second deployment, I got back home late 2014, early 2015 So I was on terminal leave throughout that time during terminal leave your that's the honeymoon phase right. Turning terminal leave is great. You're flying through the clouds, man, it feels amazing. You're You're done. No more No more formations. No more PT no more layouts, no more. Frickin bullshit PowerPoint briefs, no more safety brief, none of that crap. You're you're just like, oh my god, like I'm free. I don't have to deal with it anymore. And then then month four comes around month five, month six, month seven. It's kind of like, you ever get tired of being on Blockly or you ever get tired of being at home for too long and then you get bored and you have to go back to work? Because you're going crazy. Okay, now at around month, seven or eight. That's that feeling starts to you start to get restless. You're like, Okay, well, I've had a nice little break. This is cool and everything but I need to get back to work right? You're not going to get back to work, bro. You ets that's it? It's over like Okay, so you need to find a new mission. Well, as soon as I started. As soon as I got back home and 2015 everything kind of just crashed and burned for me man, everything fell apart. My life fell apart. I started man my alcoholism got out of control. started affecting my work. It started affecting my relationships. It started affecting my school I was in I was taking some classes at the local community college. And so it was starting to take over my entire life and my depression and my A my nightmares and all the shit that had built up and now I'm sort of dealing with it full time. Now it's all taking its toll right now, right when I'm trying to like, start a new chapter in my life. Now it's all like, everything's just kind of coming apart. And so I was having a really hard time I was a mess, and pre pretty desperate for something new man. And it was really dark time for my for me. And one of the things that I said I always wanted to try was painting. I had never tried painting before, I've always drawn my entire life sketching and doing charcoal, but I said, you know, it's now or never, like, I don't have anything to lose any more. I don't have any formations I gotta go to or any PT tests, or any class inspections, or any GI parties that I got to do, or any, anything I have to do. So now I have time to actually paint and develop that skill that I've always wanted to try because nothing's working. Nothing else is working. I'm drinking myself to sleep. That's not working. I'm doing a bunch of stupid crap, dangerous stuff to get my adrenaline levels up, you know, nothing's working on a self destructive path. I'm in a black hole. And I need to get myself out of here because this sucks. And so and so yeah, I just decided to change that I made a choice to say, I'm not going to I can't do this anymore. I don't, I can't go on living like this anymore. This is going to I'm going to get killed myself like this. So that's what really, that's what really sparked that whole. The whole thing about becoming an artist and doing the painting full time it was either this either you become a really good artist, or you just, I don't know, crash and burn you throw your life away. Which one do you want to do? Well, I'll try to be an artist. And so that's what I that's what I decided to do,

KP:

I can, I can certainly appreciate and understand where you're coming from when you're talking about coming to those crossroads in life where you're like, alright, I can continue down this path of alcoholism, I can continue down this path of doing the things that are fun and easy to do. Or I can challenge myself and put myself to work. And I'm sure when you first started painting. Sure, when you first start painting, it wasn't, it wasn't great. Like, I'm sure you had to learn how to, I'm sure you learned how to how to mesh the colors and all that stuff. And it was pretty frustrating at times, right?

Unknown:

i Yeah, man, you hit it right on the on the okay. I thought all those skills. You know, I could I could draw really well. I can manipulate stuff in Photoshop fairly decently. I can design T shirts and whatever. I thought all those skills would transfer over to painting. And I was dead wrong. It was like, it was like learning how to walk again. It was like crawling and having to learn how to walk all over again. The skills did not transfer. And my first I would say my first Yeah, my first 2500 paintings didn't didn't look good at all. They suck. They were terrible. But I didn't want to quit. And I just wanted to, I don't know, man. Okay. It was more of a feeling that I got when I painted. Okay, it didn't really matter what the hell it looked like, okay, that doesn't look like a Blackhawk helicopter. It looks like shit. But I felt better. I felt better. I didn't feel like I wanted to drink myself to sleep that night. If I had painted something, right? If I had just tried to do it, I might have messed up five paintings that day. But since I tried to do something that day and get something out of me and get get ideas out of my head. Then that night was a little easier. I was like, you know, I don't need to. I don't I don't need to I don't need to drink. I don't I don't need to get wasted tonight. I'm good. Tonight. I'm going to try again tomorrow. And so then I would wake up the next day and I said yeah, I'm gonna get around to it. I'm gonna I'm gonna try it again. You know, and again and try it again and again and again. And just it kept going and it grew like that. Things just started to get better for me.

KP:

Yeah, when I want to ask you man like so how do you during that those, you know? Hundreds and hundreds of horrible paintings. How did you tune out the critics because people are going to look at and go Oh, that's horrible. Like that's Don't Don't Don't Don't lose your day job. Like how do you how do you tune that out?

Unknown:

I would say it's easy for me but I know it's hard for a lot of people. It's the biggest obstacle for a lot of people like I mentioned, people are so scared of that people are so scared that rejection and all it's not going to look good. I don't want to show my friends I'm going to be embarrassed. judged. I I remind people, well, you're the one that's trying, you're the one that's on that path. You're the one that's building that skill and trying to get better and better. So you're not failing. If you're learning Bob Ross said, Bob Ross said the same thing. He said, if you're learning, you're not failing. So with every single shitty painting that you do that you trash, or you throw in the garbage, or your light on fire, whatever, you fucking smashed into the pieces, whatever you do to it, if you learned a little bit from that painting, you're incrementally building that skill, and it's getting better and better and better every single day, every single time you try. So the fact that you're building that technique, and you're on that path of enlightenment that's what I always tell people, for people to remember, those critics out there that are judging you that are talking all this shit. They're not on your path. They're, they're talking all this crap, because they're sitting comfortable, where they it's easy content in their lives, it's easy. It's easy for them to look at you and judge something that you're trying to do, and you're trying to get better you're trying to improve it from from where they're sitting, it's easy for them, and it's impossible for them. That's why they're talking all that crap. They'll never be able to do it. They're never there, they're always going to be too scared to take that leap like you are right? So you're taking that leap, and you're you're going out there and you're trying to get better. So don't worry about what they think. That's what I say. That's what

KP:

I always I always tell podcasters that man are content creators, because even with me doing this, when I started this, I got that I got that credit, where it was like, Oh, well don't don't quit your day job. It sucks. You know, and, and I think for you, we had a conversation before the recording. And you mentioned that early on in your in your life, you enjoyed drawing you enjoyed being an artist. And people would tell you, Oh, you can't do that you need to get get real, you need to do real things. You know, and, and you had something about you that just said, I don't care what anyone thinks I'm not gonna continue doing it. And maybe that has something to do with who you are, and how you're able to mute the noise when it comes to the critics today. Or early on. I'm sorry, early on, when you started to just say, I don't care what you think I'm going to do it anyways. And I'm going to continue doing it. And it's just how it is right.

Unknown:

I remember when I was a kid, I remember just feeling really awesome that I can manipulate a pencil on a piece of paper and make it look make it look like something cool. Right? It wasn't the best in the world. It wasn't awesome. It wasn't a masterpiece, but I liked it. I liked it. I said, Oh man, that looks badass. I'm going to keep on. I'm going to keep growing it. I'm going to add to it right. I'm just gonna keep adding and keep it all man that looks. That looks freakin awesome. Okay, now I'm gonna turn the page in my little notebook and I'm going to try something else. And it's a I don't know, man. It's a it's an endorphin rush, man, it's a dopamine rush in your brain. It's like, oh, that looks badass. That's awesome. It makes me feel good. So I'm just gonna keep doing it again and again. So it's like an addiction, man. I'm addicted to it. It's an obsession. It's like, Fuck, I like the feeling that I'm hooked on that gratification that I get when I do it. And have liked it since I was a kid. And I love it even more now. And it's even stronger. It's more powerful. Now. It's more it has more. The effect that it has on me is a lot more powerful than it used to be.

KP:

Right? Going back to your time the military, did anyone in your platoon or in your company find out that you were talented and kind of made you it seems like every unit has that one guy that does all the logos does like are you that guy?

Unknown:

This guy was you I was the one. I was the one that was voluntold every single time to do the platoon t shirt or the company logo t shirt or the squadron logo on some somewhere painted somewhere I did. I did a T wall in Iraq. I did one T one T wall and I did three T walls in Kandahar. I painted them because I was the guy that I was the artist, the graphic designer. So yeah, every every damn time man.

KP:

That one guy

Unknown:

too. I wasn't always I wasn't always excited to do it. I was like, Ah, fuck, man. God dammit. I just wanted to train I wanted to go to the range man. I wanted to blow some shit up. I didn't want to. I wanted to go on mission and I didn't want to draw on the damn floor. I don't want to draw on some T walls at the five. I wasn't excited about that at that time, a lot of pressure right now. It is a lot of pressure and Okay. Okay, okay, who let me talk about this. I'm going to get this off of my shoulders too. Because right now, I deal with some kind of a deal with hard clients every now and then you got to deal with some clients that have Have some pretty impossible kind of ideas that are kind of out there, but you work with them and you make you and you make things happen. You're like, Okay, I don't know if I can. I'll knock it out, boom. And sometimes you deal with that. That's not a problem. That's, that's everybody. But I'll tell you, first Sergeant's and Sergeant Majors are the worst fucking clients I've ever had in my life. They're the most difficult. Most obnoxious people to work with. They are impossible, possible to work with man. Because the sergeant mate okay, how long do you think it takes me to paint a mural now? Now that I know what I'm doing now that I'm good at? How long do you still think it takes for me to paint a mural, like a logo on a wall somewhere? Just give or take?

KP:

I mean, really, a couple weeks?

Unknown:

Couple weeks, okay, now, try telling that to a sergeant major that wants to impress another Sergeant Major from another unit. tried telling him that it's going to take a couple of weeks to do this mural. The Waiting is gonna say what? CLB? Oh, CLB. She'll be Roger. Roger CLB. Okay, so yeah, CLB Sergeant Major. Yeah, totally, totally. And okay, so by the way, can I get a nice stipend, right, can you give me a stipend for maybe like a ladder, maybe some masking tape, maybe some paint brushes, maybe some buckets, some tarps, some other materials that I'm definitely going to need to do this. Negative just make it work. Watch make it work.

KP:

As frustrating.

Unknown:

Cool. All right. So I had I'll tell you what I had I had tam spray paint, black spray paint, white spray paint was OD green spray paint, and red spray paint. Oh, that's it. So I had to add, that's what I had to wait. That's all I had, man.

KP:

I wouldn't make it work. Dude. I would say another frustrating part of that, too, is like working with people that just simply are not creative. But they're telling you like I this is what I want. I'm not really sure what I want. But this is kind of what I want. And but they're not being very specific about it. And then when you start doing it, like, oh, no, no, that's all wrong. Well, that's not what you said. Yeah, that would be super frustrating. And you know, what, aside from the the T walls that you did, and the work that you did for some of the upper echelons out there, down range. Where else has your art been featured so far?

Unknown:

You're talking about the murals that kind of

KP:

murals or I know you did some work with grunt style as well, right?

Unknown:

Yeah, the grunt style T shirts are probably my most, I don't know, I guess it has a further reach than any of my other artwork that I've ever done. Because grunt style is an is a huge national apparel brand. Think they're global, too. They've got stores in different like, different countries, right? Where where we have bases that Yeah, they'll have they'll have little in the P X's and shit like that. So yeah, they're glow, they're a global apparel brand. And so much the fact that I did t shirt designs for them, that is it's a global reach right there for those T shirts. So like run style T shirts, you can definitely check those out. And then their headquarters building downtown San Antonio, and then I did one on by meet the Meet the era restaurant is it's a very iconic, it's a very iconic tourist restaurant in San Antonio. And I did a mural for for their for the family. It's the they're the contest family. Very influential, very, very influential family in San Antonio. And I worked with them they were really cool. They were really nice people, good clients to work for and I did a mural for them. Downtown San Antonio. That so many, I don't know. They'll see Daniels brewery back on turn brewery in San Antonio. I did one on the inside of the brewery and on the outside of the brewery. Poof what else?

KP:

Anything in LA or California?

Unknown:

No, I haven't gotten out that far yet. La has its has its own mural mural. This man. They got their own artists out there. It's a whole other territory. It's like stepping into I don't know, man. Like what is the stepping into?

KP:

Yeah, it's so I mean, I don't think we have any any of our own muralist who are combat veterans though. I mean, are you aware of anyone out here that does this kind of thing?

Unknown:

Not combat veterans. Yeah. No. There's one other guy that is a combat veteran that does murals and he's up in Fort Worth. His name is Velasquez talked to him recently. He's a cool dude. I don't know what he did while he was in the army. I don't know what was his MOS but he's a full time, full time muralist. Now in Fort Worth, Texas, he's pretty cool, dude.

KP:

Definitely, man let this put your name out around here and see if one of these VFW is or someone else can is looking at Any word for that? Because, as you know, we have a lot of graffiti here in the city man, and it'd be nice to have something that's military related. And so,

Unknown:

yeah, yeah, totally. I feel like a lot of the will. I'm, I'm sort of the only the only one here to one of the only ones here to back in San Antonio. I mean, in San Antonio, there's a there's several muralists that you can choose from. I mean, you throw rock there, you're gonna hit a muralist. Okay in San Antonio. But yeah, you're right. Not not a lot of them are. Not a lot of them are veterans. cool people, great people I learned from them. I learned a lot from the local art community in San Antonio, back back in 2015. When I was learning when I was still kind of, you know, learning how to paint really, I submerge myself or I suppose, what do you call it immersed? There we go. I immersed myself with nothing but artists. And so I nitpicked little techniques here and there. And I learned from them and took a lot of advice from people that already knew what they were doing. So I owe a lot to the, to the local art community in San Antonio for kind of taking me under their wing and teaching me a little bit here and there. As far as military artists, or military muralist, I don't know of very many others,

KP:

we need to get your name out there, man, while we're, I run this on YouTube as well, while we're talking here, do you mind if I throw up some of your artwork, and just kind of go ahead show people out there? Man, I tell you, and the reason I say that is because that's what caught my attention, man, I was just scrolling through Instagram, and I saw your artwork, and I and then I went to your YouTube, which I'm gonna post all these links down in the show notes. So if you're listening to this on the podcast, or you're watching this on YouTube, scroll down to the bottom, you're gonna find all the links to do this, but watching you create, your work was absolutely amazing to me. And I thought, Man, I gotta reach out, I don't even know if this guy's gonna respond to me. But I got to reach out and I got to see if I can get in contact with ghosts. Because for one, you're one of us, you're your military veteran. And a number two, your work is extremely, extremely well done attentive. And it's it was beautiful, man, I was like, I gotta get a hold of this guy. So I'm gonna post up some some of your work while we're talking here. And, and try to get your name out there. Max. I'd love to see some of your work out here in Southern California as well. Gosh, you've talked so much about you know where you came from and how it all started for you. What advice would you have for folks out there who are afraid or fearful of taking a chance on themselves are following their dreams it sometimes man you know people can can say all you know that that's just you know, playing a guitar is just that's just a hobby. You know, that's just a dream. You got to find a nine to five, you got to find that hourly job. But you know, what, if you have a real burning passion inside, and you're just kind of the right there, man, what what advice do you have for those folks?

Unknown:

I'm also in a band. So you know, just you play said play guitar. I also play guitar too,

KP:

and you're talented.

Unknown:

I've been playing guitar longer than I've been painting. But anyway, that's another conversation. What advice do I have for them? It's kind of like I was saying earlier, you have to get over that big. It's it's a mental obstacle that is stopping you more than anything more than anybody else is stopping you. No one is physically restraining you and stopping you from doing these things. No one is you can you can. You can you can choose to listen to people when they doubt you. Or you can just choose to say I'm just going to do it anyway. Right? Because that mental obstacle stops people from doing the things that they want to do more than anyone or more than anything else. You're stopping yourself. Stop stopping yourself, quit doing it. Quit listening to your own negative thoughts. Okay, you need to start with that positive attitude in that positive way of thinking saying to yourself, you know what, maybe I can do it. If I can try if I at least try and learn and get better and build it little by little. Maybe I can get good at that. One thing that I want to do, okay? It doesn't have to be painting doesn't have to be playing guitar. It can be anything you want. It could be jujitsu, or woodworking or sculpting or freakin whatever, you want to get better at something. You have to start telling yourself that you can do it. Once you start telling yourself that you can do it and you believe that you can do it. It's a lot easier than you think it is. It really is. I remember I remember when I started painting and when I was really horrible at it and it was terrible. From the time that I painted like my first one, which was really shitty to like my 15th one to my 35th one that was really crappy, and I didn't like them. Let's say to the time that I really started liking my artwork, it was about maybe a year, maybe a year and a half, two years until I really started, really started understanding and getting the hang of things. And so when you look at a long enough timeline, like I don't know your life, right, two years as, right, it's nothing it passes by like that. And I was done. I was, I and I, and you can compare it to you can track it, you can say, Fuck, I was the one that first one that I did two years ago, and look at what I'm doing now. Oh my god, it's because I kept, you gotta keep going. And it's also consistency. All right. So that's number two. One is positive thinking, get over that obstacle in your head. And two is consistency. And you know, who will tell you the same thing as personal trainers, man, it's true. Like, like, PT instructors, they'll tell you the same thing, man, you want you want, you want to get in shape. You want those abs, you want to be fit. You got to be consistent about it, man, you got to one you got to diet well, and two, you got to work out every you got to work out consistently. You can't just expect results like this. Okay, so that's the other thing people like. Three, I think number three is you got to be a little patient with yourself. Okay? Don't Don't be that guy. Or don't be that person that's expecting instant results, because it ain't gonna happen. All right. Instantly, results are for I don't know, man. Who wants who really who really honestly expect instant results with anything? Yeah, I mean, you look around, I mean, think about it, nothing, nothing good. That happens in your life happen like that instantly. Everything's kind of gradual, right. And that's what you have to really understand about your new skill that you want to take over, or the new skill, that new thing that you want to take on, you're not going to get good at it. In two weeks or six months, it's going to take you a while of consistency. Right? Right consistency and learning to really get good at that one thing that you want to do. So give yourself some time. Be patient with yourself, it's not going to happen right away. So, but it'll happen gradually, incrementally, and you will be happy with the results. And a lot sooner than you think so, you know, in my mind, I thought it was going to take 30 years to be to get to the level that I'm at now. I thought it was going to take oh my god, I can't I can't ever paint like that. I can't ever do it. That's bullcrap. Just keep keep painting every day. I mean, come on, just keep doing it. And it'll, it'll happen, man, it'll happen. So one of the, one of the metaphors or the analogies that I was using earlier was the whole language thing when you're a kid, right? Well, let's think of another metaphor, right? For people to really understand what I'm saying about an obstacle in your head, that positive mentality, okay, so imagine that your brain imagine that your the inside of your brain is a big lot of property, right? Like you've got a big lot of land, you got acreage, right? And some parts of it around your house and what you know, you kind of maintain that, right? You cut the grass, you trim the trees, you trim your shrubs and all that stuff. You do landscaping around this circle around your house, right? And that's the stuff that you know, and you're familiar with, most of the time out there on the rest of your acreage and your property is sort of like unknown regions that you don't really that you know, it's there. But you don't really go there. You don't really venture out there. And the whole drawing thing. Everybody, every single person on earth took a crayon at one point in their life and started coloring with crayons and a little coloring book and drew something drew a little star drew a little sun or a dolphin or something right when they were a little kid with a crayon at some point. Yes, they did. That part of your land right there. That's that part that's gated off. And it's overgrown. And you don't really go over there anymore. It's not well kept. Right? The gate is rusty. That fence is rusty that chain and that lock on that fence is all rusted out. You used to go over there when you were a kid but you haven't gone over there in a very, very long time. Now, when you want to when you want to build that skill, and you want to do that thing again, you got to go over there. You got to break that rusty ass lock off and that rusty chain off of that fence, open it up and you got to go in there and there's a lot of work to be done a lot of work. You have to cut all that shit down. You got to clear it all out. And you got to work at it and work at it and read and read He rejuvenate, revamp it up. And so it takes you can revisit that place in your head, and you can really do it. But it takes a lot of work to to get it back to that level that you want it at

KP:

is such a visionary man. I was that makes sense. No, I was sitting here in my own mind. Imagine that, like you're explaining. And I was like, first I was like, where's he going with it? And then I started. And then I started seeing it. Yeah, I totally get it. Like you've got the nice square chainlink fenced area that you groom and you take care of, but then you've got that area outside, that in my mind, as you were talking about it, I could see, I can vision actually, in my mind what you were talking about, man. And that's actually a very great, very great image that that you painted there. And I think that that's spot on man with where a lot of people are going back to what you mentioned, man, the three things that you need to do to be successful. You know, my old man used to tell me all the time, you know, nothing happens overnight. And it's so funny how such a simple little phrase like that kind of sticks with you. When it comes to you know, accomplishing your own tasks and your own goals. Understanding that nothing happens overnight. He used to say a bunch of stuff. He used to say nothing good ever came out of a bar. And he would just say these small things, and it kind of these things would stick with me, you know. And, Robert? Yeah, man. Exactly. And, you know, we can be our own worst enemy at times our own worst critics. And like you mentioned about time, you know, you mentioned two years, right? And two years is nothing. And I was talking to a young man yesterday, 25 years old, we're talking about the military, we're talking about going to basic training, boot camp and stuff. And he's like, Well, how long is that? And I was like, oh, you know, it's nine weeks for this and then you got to go to your advanced training or whatever. afterwards. That could be a couple months. And he goes, Well, I don't know man. You could be up to a year and I was like a year is nothing compared to the rest of your life. And I think that I want to I want to underline that

Unknown:

Yeah, it really I go back to mind what my my whole freakin basic na it combined was 16 weeks.

KP:

Yeah, eight nothing.

Unknown:

Are you kidding me? That that passes by that's like, that's like a day. In reference to like, tie a tie your whole life? Is it gonna pass by? Oh, yeah. 16 weeks is like, that is like microscopic man. That's nothing bro. Oh, my God. And so yeah, it's when you look, when I look back at it. I'm like, man, what, what the hell?

KP:

One of the things I want to underline as well, before we move on to the next question here that I have when I want to learn about what you got going on over the horizon was I want to underline decisions. You mentioned earlier that you had decisions when you left the military, where you could have gotten farther into drinking alcohol and doing some of the things that you probably shouldn't be doing. And you chose to immerse yourself into art to a point where you honed it and everything. And for me, that was Brazilian Jujitsu, which is also sort of another art. And I was going through some rough times when I got out of the military. And I was just working with another guy one day, and I had wrestled in high school. And I was working with him. We were talking and he was like, hey, you know, I really want to get into Brazilian jujitsu. And I was like, you know, I need to and next thing, you know, we're like, alright, well, let's, let's learn together. And I was like, okay, so we both helped each other out, got us into it. And then I ended up training like, three, four days a week was going into competitions. Because I just like you, I knew that I was at a crossroad where I had to decide, like, what am I going to do with my extra time, and I wanted to do something that was going to be beneficial is going to be a value that I was going to have something to show for. And I chose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I end up doing it for like 11 years, man, and it was a total passion of mine before the pandemic hit. I'm just now getting back into it now. So I completely identify with what you're talking about with that, and I want to underline that for the listeners out there. Yeah, you know, if you transition to the military, find that thing that that makes you happy that makes you fulfilled instead of you know, choosing to do you know, other things that may not be able to provide you any value at all in the end, like, you know, drinking and drugs or anything like that. But so I just wanted to underline that goes because you brought up a very, very good point earlier and I wanted to ask you, man, like over the horizon, what what do you have going on? Coming up?

Unknown:

Coming up? Well, like I said, I'm still working on commission pieces all the time I get I get DMS I get messages over Facebook and social media, asking about you know, how much how much would this painting be? How much would that mural cost or how much would this logo cost? So I'm still on Still doing the art thing. Not full time though, it's more of like a side hustle now. But right now over the horizon, the biggest thing that I'm working on is the art show for November. I'm putting together an art show when working with grunt style. And it's actually going to be there at their downtown location in San Antonio. And I'm pretty much in charge of getting all the artists together compiling all the artists together, and building the building the exhibition space, I'm going to convert their, I'm going to convert their first floor into a gallery, an art gallery. So that's what I'm working on in the near future.

KP:

It's amazing, man. Absolutely amazing. And like I mentioned before, I'm going to post all your social media platforms in the show notes for this. So folks listening, make sure you scroll down to the bottom and check him out on Instagram. That's where I found him. Instagram is a visual social media platform. So of course, for guys like ghost here. I mean, it's, it's perfect for him, it caught my eye. And then I started doing a little more research into YouTube. And I was like, God kind of fell in love with his work, man. And I was like, kind of get a hold of this guy. And for for people who are looking to connect, besides the show notes that I put down there. If someone's looking to connect with you, ghosts are looking to do some work. Where can they contact you? Do you have an email address or website or anything like that?

Unknown:

The biggest, the easiest way to contact me is probably through email, I'm gonna get that on all my devices. And the email is probably the easiest thing for me to access. It's all one word, ghost customer rt@gmail.com Reach out to me at any time, I don't really have any set hours, I don't get offended if people message me at odd hours and stuff like that. Usually, usually, that's when people start thinking about their ideas. And like they message people and I get a lot of on our, on our inquiries. And I don't mind that at all. Because I'm either a painting, I'm either designing T shirts or sketching something else out or practicing on guitar, I'm doing something I'm very I don't know, I'm very, the wheels are always spinning. But in what in a good way, but in a good way, not not in the way that they used to always be spinning in a very positive very productive way now. So I stay busy. And so if anybody wants to reach out and contact me about doing some work, ghost custom art@gmail.com is the easiest way to do it. Then there's also the social media platforms as well.

KP:

Awesome. Sounds great, man. Hey, so goes before we finish out this episode. Is there any final pieces of advice or anything that you'd like to tell our listeners out there? Oh, man, kind of open

Unknown:

ended. There's a lot I could say. I mean, yeah, there's a lot I could say. Positive thinking man, it really transforms. It really transformed my life and it'll transform anybody's life if they if they kind of changed their perspective around and change their their outlook and their attitude around or the way for the way they want to deal with things. Life is filled with nothing but obstacles nothing but problems. Nothing but challenges is hard and shit just suck sometimes. You know, you get you get frustrated with things, but you can choose to look at it positive or negative. Negative ways the easy way, right, right. It's easy to be negative. It's easily pissed off. Just fucking disgruntled all the time with shit. It's so easy to do that to be that way and just say pocket pocket. All right. It's hard. It's really hard and difficult to be positive about things. But you have to do the right heart thing over the easy wrong thing. Okay, hard right over the easy wrong. That's what my old squad leader used to say. And it stuck with me hard right over the easy wrong. Positive thinking. Look shitty things happen. You learn from them, you learn from them, and you move forward. You learn you, you get knocked down. You learn you take it in any positive way that you can and you learn from that experience and you get up the next day and you move you charge forward, man, that's it positive all the time. It'll change everything in your life. If you think that way.

KP:

It's a great piece of advice, man. I am one of those people who at times have been very negative about things and even with it sounds crazy man but even with like customer service, and like things like Yelp, like I go out of my way to try to provide positive feedback because the world is so full of critics and people that are negative about things. And you know, when I started changing my own mindset, it really changed who, how I felt about myself and who I was so, ghost, I really appreciate that piece of advice to final things out. There are so many great things that you talked about here today. And for the listeners out there, I really hope that you're able to, to resonate with ghosts overall experiences his background in the military, and all the trials and tribulations, the obstacles that he's had to come over as well. A lot of us have been through it in our own lives. And ghosts. It's been an absolute honor to have you on the morning formation podcast. Thank you so much. It's a great conversation, sir.

Unknown:

Thank you very much for having me, man. It was it was awesome.

KP:

Folks, make sure you go down to the shownotes check him out. He's got a lot of great great pieces of art out there. If you're someone in another city looking to get some type of military style of mural done, he's the man to call combat veteran been to Iraq and Afghanistan has been through all the all the tough times eight years in the Army combat engineer. I mean, this this is your man right here. So with that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us here on the morning information podcast goes has been an absolute honor. For everyone else out there. I want you to stay tuned, stay focused and stay motivated. Warriors fall out