Three hours seemed like just a few minutes. I wish I could have sat and listened much longer. I wish I could have spent the entire day with him. It was a small group of 10 bloggers on a retreat to relax, refresh and share successes and failures of our blogging adventures (#glampingbloggers2017). It felt like we were sitting around chatting with friends. He came to our camp site to chat about branding. I came away from listening to him feeling like I made a new friend – a friend for life – a friend who will keep inspiring me to be the best I can be, dream a dream and reach for the stars.
Kevin-John Jobczynski is a Disney Master Artist. He is a Celebrity Artist. He is also an incredible artist of other things and one of the best motivational speakers I have sat and listened to. He is the kind of motivational person who doesn’t stand up and tell you what you should do to be inspired and motivated. He simply tells you his story and you become so emerged in his story that you are in awe of what someone can do. I have sat through countless inspirational speakers at conferences. I am always inspired at the moment. It rarely lasts. The inspiration I took away from Kevin-John will not likely fade anytime soon.
Kevin-John has had a long and interesting journey to get where he is today. His journey started as a teenager who wanted to draw pictures but also wanted to sell his pen and ink sketches to make other people smile. At 17 he had an incredible business plan without even knowing he had a business plan. At 17 he knew that he would someday have to support himself and he knew he wanted to do that with his art. He didn’t want to be a starving artist selling his work at local festivals under a tent.
Now, 30 years later, his art is loved by every Disney fan who has purchased a print in the parks, he co-owns and runs his company, Legend Cove Trading Company, (based on pirates!), he is one of the most in-demand artists in the country and he still finds the time to sit and talk to strangers and motivate them to be the best they can be. Legend Cove Trading Company is as diverse as the man himself offering apparel, coffee, and art.
He is an incredible talent. He has little to no formal art training. He is just one of those special people born with a gift. When you watch him draw, you feel as if this gift simply flows from his heart, down his arm, into the pen (yes a pen!) onto the canvas. And . . . he is color blind. A celebrated, master artist who is color blind.
All of his works start with a special color of purple – a color formulated by him. He has never shared the formula with anyone. It is known as Kevin-John Purple. His work starts with that color because it is the easiest color for him to identify and build upon. He works only in water colors. A difficult technique because of it’s fast drying nature – there is no room for error.
What is a Disney Master Artist?
Well, to start with, it’s an incredible honor and a testament to an artist’s talent. There are only 20 Disney Master Artists in the world. A Disney Master Artist is under contract with Disney to create Theme Park exclusive art for Walt Disney World Art Galleries to be sold (as prints) in the parks.
Kevin-John, a Disney Master Artist, is commissioned by Disney to produce works of art for Disney Parks in Florida and California.
More About Kevin-John
Before taking on his Disney work, Kevin-John was already a celebrated artist in the sports world. His drawings of famous sports figures were popular and kept him incredibly busy with work for ESPN, the NFL, the PGA and a long list of top athletes and their teams.
Sports card company Topps commissioned Kevin-John to produce art for their 2015 Topps Museum Collection Baseball card series. Over 100 professional athletes of major league baseball were drawn on the standard trading card size and format of 2.5″ by 3.5.
Sitting with Kevin-John was without a doubt the highlight of my retreat.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he says about working with Disney. “Open my high-school yearbook, and where it says what you want to do, it says, ‘I want to be a Disney artist.” None of it ever would have happened if it weren’t for a little luck, a tremendous amount of talent, and the will to stick to his dreams. “You can’t be afraid to fail,” Kevin-John says. “I’ve failed thousands of times. So you fail – you learn from it – and keep going.”
Kevin-John also has a deep dedication to countless charitable organizations and his art has helped raise well over a half million dollars for deserving causes.