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Meet Andre Chaney of Made 2 Believe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andre Chaney.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Since adolescence, I always had immense respect and admiration for art. I found serenity and solace in expressing myself by way of graphite. Growing up, I was inspired by the artistic style of Ernie Barns, an artist who’s artwork was always featured and displayed on the hit show “Good Times’. His style pushed me to hone my skills, try other mediums such as pastels, and paints, and tell my story. My drive and determination to master the craft of art would only grow fonder over the years and I continued to make strides within the art world. In 2016 I received a full scholarship that allowed me to attend a well-renowned school called California College of The Arts locates in San Fransisco, California. It was there where I expanded my horizon with art no longer utilizing one medium to express myself.

At this point, I began using paints and learning graphic design tools, and with my acquired knowledge, I returned home in 2018 to start my very own business venture distributing my artworks through my LLC “Made2Believe”. I have gone on to be featured in various art showcases around the states, I have art permanently housed in places of high real estate, celebrities such as Spike Lee have commissioned me to paint for his movie studio in New York. I now serve as the Artistic Director for the BLC Kids Enrichment program at the Beckett Life Center. In this capacity, I am creating and implementing Trauma-Sensitive After School programming to provide a vehicle through which children can heal. The reason I do the things I do as an artist is to help people heal by empowering people with knowledge through the stories and history my art reveals. I strive to help people find beauty in all of the chaos and madness that plagues the world we inhabit by changing their perspective through his paintings and through my own story.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My journey has been far from smooth, but who’s journey every is? I’ve encountered trial after trial and tribulation to go along with it. Deciding to leave my steady job in order to put all of my focus into my own passion was one of the hardest things I’ve ever committed to. I went broke investing in my own products, such as canvases, paints, and other supplies which can be extremely expensive. I’ve had constant mental battles with myself over whether or not this was the true career path for me. I’ve suffered from the stigma of feeling like I should be light years ahead of where I currently was when I first began my endeavor due to my exposure to the success of others that I constantly watched on social media. I’ve lost faith in my dream due to others expressing their lack of faith within me and my ideas. I’ve experienced bad business deals due to greedy and untrustworthy individuals at a young age which skewed my view of the world, but at the age of 22, I have to say all of these bumps on the road has helped shape me into the up and coming entrepreneur I am today.

Please tell us about Made 2 Believe.
I am a 22-year old entrepreneur and the founder of Made2Believe. Made2Believe was initially founded to be a vehicle for me to paint murals, distribute, and also sell my artworks through. Over time I began to incorporate other things under the umbrella of my LLC such as events and classes. I understand that art can be used as a vehicle to help understand and or also heal traumas so I began to teach young individuals, especially ones from impoverished communities how to be expressive through painting. I would prompt the students to be as expressive as they like, use whatever colors they like, any brush stroke they liked; and at the end of the class, we would have an open forum. I would explain to them how the use of certain colors such as red could mean that you could be subconsciously angry or even passionate. Or how we could identify some anger or excitement if you used decided to use a more aggressive brushstroke.

Through my LLC, I have also been able to paint for celebrities such as Spike Lee recreating his iconic “Crooklyn movie cover in acrylic paint on an 8″x 12′ canvas. My LLC has been contracted to do large full-scale murals in multiple cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, Virginia. I have a painting permanently housed in the police headquarters in Philadelphia, PA which garnered a bunch of press due to my LLC. I have hosted multiple large scale paint and sips by way of my LLC. I have also been able to employ multiple other up and coming artists to assist me on projects such as murals and “Paint and sips”. My business is different from others because of my trauma-sensitive art classes, I believe I am raising the bar in the art industry when it comes to telling stories through art by helping aspiring artist learn themselves better in order to better tell their own stories.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could start over, I would have began sooner. The amount of knowledge I have acquired over the span of my career has been a tremendous help in not only assisting me in making great business decisions but also in making great life decisions. If I knew what I knew at the age of 12, I would be able to help so many others now today with situations because I’ve experienced them young and can offer solutions or perspective that could assist.

That could assist them in their own decision making. On the other side of the coin I understand that everything happens for a reason; and that what’s meant to be will be when it’s meant to be; so in stating that I understand that I started my journey as a full time artist when I was truly ready and prepared to do so, and I wouldn’t change my story, not for anything.

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