Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean P McGaughey.
Hi Sean, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am a painter and I grew up in San Bernardino, CA where I spent most of my time drawing and skateboarding throughout Southern CA, from San Bernardino to LA to San Diego and everywhere in between. Skateboarding and drawing was a means to escape an angry, violent and depressing city. Through skateboarding, I was surrounded by some of the most creative people, from artists, designers, and musicians, it taught me how to see the world through a different lens. I eventually went to Art Center College of Design where I was surrounded by more brilliant creative people and was pushed to develop my painting practice.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been anything but smooth, however, I have been able to continually turn poison into medicine and progress forward. I have dealt with self-doubt and depression since I was a teenager, my worst bout of depression I could no longer find the value of life and was on the verge of taking my own life. I have struggled with addiction and learned how to use it to my advantage and use it constructively to create value. I went through a period of 10 years struggling to find work, struggling to sell paintings, barely having enough money to pay rent and living off if I was lucky $10 a week for groceries. No money to buy painting supplies (which is a ridiculous problem when you consider yourself a painter), I couldn’t afford to buy a sketchbook, let alone afford to buy paint. I would sell my blood plasma twice weekly so I could buy paint to keep working and to have money for groceries and enough gas to drive back to the blood plasma donation center.
Towards the end of this period, I was experiencing periodic emotional upheavals, in an act of desperation for my life to change I would write letters addressed to the Universe demanding things change because I was having trouble mustering the strength or motivation to push through and just survive. Then one day, my studio neighbor came by, we began talking and the conversation quickly turned from niceties of small talk to spirituality and Karma. She Introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism and chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and I immediately took to it. Through Buddhism and chanting, I have been able to completely turn my life around and sky-rocket it forward. My work has a solidified direction and purpose to connect with people’s hearts, spread happiness and create value. I have learned to have gratitude for every single struggle I faced and will face and understand every struggle, every obstacle is there to make me stronger and to use every victory to encourage and to help others rise up.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
One of the things I am most proud of with the paintings I have been making lately is the heart-felt responses I have been receiving. One courageous woman messaged me on Instagram, she was in the middle of redefining her life and healing from an abusive relationship with a Sociopath Narcissist at the height of the pandemic. She was pushing through the worst of her healing when she walked into Diane Rosenstein’s Gallery and saw one of my paintings. She said the painting helped to open her up and push her to dig deeper and carry on. Reading her message completely humbled me and filled me with so much gratitude that I was able through my painting to connect with her heart and assist her in a small way.
What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
To never give up and to understand every obstacle and every struggle is to make you stronger and to use every victory or accomplishment to encourage others and help them rise up. Every human being has been perfectly endowed with wisdom, courage, compassion and greatness, sometimes we need the help of others to awaken to that potential. I am filled with so much gratitude and humility to always be surrounded by great people that encourage, inspire, and contribute to my life and work.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.seanpmc.com
- Instagram: @seanpmcgaughey
Sean P McGaughey