Ever lived out of a van or car? Fun fact: I have! Renda Writer has as well and still does. He completely enjoys the freedom that comes with being completely mobile. He has had this freedom for almost a decade. Around about the same time he began making art he decided he didn’t need an apartment anymore. Lot’s of artists that I talk to change their lifestyle to follow their passions. That’s what art or a creative spark will do to you once you have it. Anything is on the table to be sacrificed or adjusted to make the vision come to life.
I find this is a similarity between the artists and the entrepreneurs I meet and was excited to collaborate with Renda for a reoccurring event here in South Florida that supports entrepreneurs called Pitch & Sips. Renda graciously created a piece of art for us to auction off and all of the proceeds will be donated to the winner of the night. Super shameless plug: please bid here. I have never offered a cash prize before at this event and I was super excited to take my event to the next level thanks to Renda, and several other folks on the team. We have a lot of cool things planned! I sat down with Renda to talk a bit more about his work and I’m sharing the interview below. Enjoy!
“Write on everything. Write about everything. Write everywhere.”
– Renda Writer
Renda is a man who believes in following his passions. Born in New York, and based in Miami, he draws influence from all of his life experiences and continues to soak up all that life has to offer every new day. Whether it’s with art, poetry, or business, Renda is always working on a new project and always acutely tuned in for manifesting the outcomes and results that he desires. With an intimate understanding of The Law of Attraction, Renda enjoys every new day of navigating through the universe as a creator and as a grateful being. He enjoys collaborating with other motivated individuals, both through art and poetry collaborations and through business partnerships.
What do you love most about being an artist?
Everything. Being an artist is synonymous with being my authentic self. I wasn’t always an artist, but I grew into it, and now I would have it no other way. I love the freedom of it all, the recognition, the challenges, the opportunities for growth, the way that it fosters my travel desires, and really just everything about it. I love myself, and art has helped to teach me just how important self-love is.
What are some highlights of your career?
Oh man, I feel like every day is a highlight, honestly. But, here are some specifics…
I did a “World Peace Mural” on the actual border wall between The US and Mexico. It was a 10ft section of the wall, on the Mexican side, in Tijuana, and I spray painted the phrase “World Peace” several times, in alternating colors, and a picture of it was later featured on the front page of Yahoo News. The picture was used to accompany an article about Donald Trump visiting the border to review some prototypes for his proposed wall. So, that was a pretty cool highlight. And since I knew this was a special day, I decided to cement it even more in my memory by getting a tattoo. So, right after finishing my mural on the wall, I got a “Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You” tattoo on my left arm from a tattoo artist who learned how to tattoo in jail.
Another highlight that comes to mind was meeting Dave Navarro in New York and selling him a piece of art. You might remember him as a former member of “Janes Addiction” and “Red Hot Chili Peppers.” He was also married to Carmen Electra for a while, and they had a reality show together on MTV called “Til’ Death Do Us Part.” And, he currently has his own TV show, a tattoo competition reality show called, “Ink Masters.” I met him at a group art show that I participated in last Valentine’s Day in Manhattan. I gave him a piece of art for free, and in return, he gave a generous donation to my GoFundMe campaign for doing murals in Trinidad.
Back in 2014 I self-published a Handwritten Mini-Book, and then, in 2018 I attended an event with Maryann Williamson, and I had a chance to give her my book, and I also told her all about my World Peace Mural Tour. Our interaction was broadcast live on her website, which was cool, and it was just such an honor to meet her. If you don’t know who she is, look her up and get inspired. She’s an author, a speaker, a student of the book, “A Course in Miracles,” and… she is running for President in 2020 with the Democratic Party.
Another highlight that comes to mind was when I won a contest that was put on by Miami Dade Transit. As one of the finalist winners, my art was featured on a bus. I had submitted a photo of a canvas that I created that said, “Positive Energy” over and over, in alternating black and blue. As one of the winners, they took my art, and created a digital wrap and wrapped the entire back of a bus in “Positive Energy.” The bus is still in regular rotation, and every once in a while a friend will see it out on the road and send me a pic of it. I love stuff like that!
OK, one more….
The author of the popular book, “Eat, Pray Love,” (which was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts), is Elizabeth Gilbert. On a recent trip to Miami for a speaking engagement, she spotted one of my murals, shot a video of it, tagged me, and then shared it on her Instagram page, for all of her 772,000 followers to see.
Those are all amazing! I hope that you will include the project were working on together as part of the list one day. The phrase we decided on for the painting is your hit “Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You.” What does this phrase mean to you?
It’s basically just a poetic way of saying, “stay out of your comfort zone.” Do some new things. Challenge yourself, and level up!
How did this phrase come to you?
Well, when I was in high school, I ran cross country, and I often remembered my coach standing on the sideline, and yelling out at us runners as we passed by, “Get out of your comfort zone! Get out of your comfort zone!” As a long distance runner, it’s easy sometimes to settle into a steady stride and forget to pick up the pace to get ahead of your competition.
Fast forward about 15 years, and as I was settling into my newly re-invented life as a poet-turned artist, I started digging into my memories for inspiration, and when I thought back to my coach’s words, I came up with a poetic rephrasing of what he had said, and that was the birth of “Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You.”
I began writing it on cardboard and wood and other found objects from the street and then started doing canvases and murals with the phrase. Like I mentioned earlier, I also got a tattoo of the phrase, and now it is the phrase that I am most known for. It’s like “my hit single.”
The phrase also went viral on Instagram, and after thousands of reposts, I decided to create a distinct and separate page just for the phrase. Now, you can follow @YourComfortZoneWillKillYou on Instagram. In addition to all the canvases and murals, I also have stickers and T-shirts that feature the phrase, and I even did a big “Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You” mural on a wall at a bar in London, England. I also just recently did a “Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You” installation in the bathroom at a popular bar/lounge/nightclub in Miami Beach called Shh Lounge.
How does a person know when they are in a comfort zone?
Sadly, a lot of people don’t. But if you’re not growing, not reaching your goals, feeling uninspired, feeling some sort of physical discomforts, and/or just feeling stagnant, then you are… most likely… in your comfort zone. Get out! Don’t let it kill you… metaphorically… or… literally.
What have you experienced by stepping outside of your comfort zone?
In short…, “magic.” All of the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. All of my success, all of my collectors, all of my murals, all of the press I’ve gotten, everything… it’s all due to the fact that I literally live outside of my comfort zone. I live out of my van, which allows me to constantly stay in “grind mode,” always on the go, and this leaves no room for “comfortable” lounging on a couch, eating snacks and watching TV. I practice what I preach, and I’m proud of that. My life imitates my art because life imitates art.
Why do you think this phrase, in particular, was such a hit?
I guess because it resonates so strongly with people. I think everyone is either in their comfort zone and aware of it and trying to get out… or out of their comfort zone and proud of it… or in their comfort zone and not completely aware of it. This last group is the one that seems to like the saying the most. It’s like the saying wakes them up, impacts them, and inspires them to grow and move on.
Describe what you were doing when the phrase started to take off? What happened? How did you feel about it?
I wish I had a better answer for this one, but honestly I don’t really know. I don’t remember specifically, but I know that I’m just always grateful for everything, so every little accomplishment or added bullet on my resume just sort of boosts up my usual feeling of constant gratitude. I believe that “gratitude brings abundance,” and so that’s why I’m experiencing such abundance.
What are you working on now?
Everything. I’m always working on everything. I am putting together plans right now for a 2-week tour in St. Louis, Missouri, where I will be doing events and working with The Angad Arts Hotel, Symbowl, Medici Media Space, Synergy Elixir Bar, and a few others. Also, on July 28th, I will be doing a mural in Cocoa Beach, Florida that should be fun and well-received. I am also working with a company called Urban Art Co. to create a series of yoga mats that will feature my art. I am also trying to make sure that I am booked to do a World Peace Mural on September 21st, which is “World Peace Day.”
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Pretty much anyone that is down to collaborate with me. As long as it’s a “win-win” for both of us, then I’m down. I’ve collaborated with all sorts of artists in the past for canvases, and for murals, and you can see some of the results of those collaborations on this page on my website. I am also very much looking to collaborate, receive sponsorship, and create partnerships with some major companies and brands, entities like: Whole Foods, Michaels, Wal-Mart, American Airlines, etc. Basically, I want to work with the companies that are behind the products and services that help my art career to continue. Companies involved in food, transportation, lodging, and art supplies, etc.
How can people support you?
There are so many ways. You can buy my art, buy my T-shirts, commission me for a custom piece of art or for a mural on your wall, Like and Follow me on social media, sign up for my email newsletter on my website, share my posts, give me a hug, refer me to people that might want to support me, or hire me to do live art at your event.
Also, the main thing that I need support for right now is collecting donations for my GoFundMe campaign that I set up to help me to a mural in Baltimore, Maryland. All other the links to my website and relevant social media can be found on my website.
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